A little black dress and the process of simplicity
Every woman has an essential wardrobe item.
Mine has to be a little black dress. When I’m in doubt what to wear for work or for dinner, I often choose a little black dress. Because it simply works.
The topic of ‘simplicity’ has been my career-long passion. When I researched the concept of the little black dress, I found a fascinating lesson on what it takes to design for simplicity.
A little black dress was originally designed by Coco Chanel in 1926. She observed that women had to go through a painful process of decorating themselves to meet the social norms of being a sophisticated woman. They had to wear layers of dresses, tight corsets, ornaments and heavy hats with feathers or even with actual fruits on them!
Coco Chanel’s observation of the oppressive fashion in the late 19th century gave her a bold design concept – defining the new elegance. She believed looking elegant didn’t require a complicated and painful process. A little black dress was designed to eliminate the unnecessary pains associated with female finery. It was designed to make women comfortable while looking elegant.
The little black dress teaches us the process of simplicity. In today’s terms, Coco Chanel was indeed a user-centric designer. Her design process started with empathy towards the women. She designed it for ‘the users’ and for their simpler life, rather than to express her own fantasy as a designer.
We are living in the world of ‘overload’; the overload of information, function and choices. Simplicity provides significant business benefits and competitive advantage. The first step towards designing for simplicity is to recognize the complexity and pain for the users and have empathy towards them, just as Coco Chanel did for women with heavy hats and dragging dresses.http://openforideas.org/blog/2016/10/13/a-little-black-dress-and-the-process-of-simplicity/https://i2.wp.com/openforideas.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/coco.png?fit=1024%2C576https://i2.wp.com/openforideas.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/coco.png?resize=150%2C150Corporate CreativityCreative tipsblack dress,coco chanel,design,simplicity,user-centered,UX
Reading your article has greatly helped me, and I agree with you. But I still have some questions. Can you help me? I will pay attention to your answer. thank you.
I agree with your point of view, your article has given me a lot of help and benefited me a lot. Thanks. Hope you continue to write such excellent articles.
I would say for guys it’s a tuxedo for sure!
As Oscar Wilde once said “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”
A little black dress makes the wearer feel differently. And the most elegant user experiences make the user feel something too. It’s a shame there aren’t more of them.
It requires courage to get rid of heavy hats and ornaments 🙂 Yes we need more of that!!!
Comfortable, yet elegant – good places to start when it comes to customer experience! Love the simplicity idea, something I also strive for in my work.
Thanks for your comment, Simon! What is ‘your’ little black dress item? Keen to find an analogy that makes a guy to feel the same way. Any ideas? 🙂