This is a quote from Dieter Rams, one of the most influential designers of the 20th century and, as the quote suggests, a big proponent of minimalism in design.
He had ten principles of good design and they represent a timeless and profound set of guidelines for any designer. But I think by far the most important principle, and the one that seemed to have the most influence over his work, was this idea of less is more.
I definitely believe that design should be as simple as possible. It seems to me that this is only becoming more important as the devices and screens we are using are getting smaller and smaller. Good design needs to strip away everything that is not absolutely essential. This ensures that you and your users can get completely focused on the essence of the product - it's primary utility. It also ensures that things are less cluttered and therefore more intuitive.
But it's really hard to strip out everything that is superfluous and achieve this level of focus and simplicity. It reminds me of the quote by Winston Churchill that says something like "If i had more time i would have written you a shorter letter."
We can all write down our stream of consciousness or make a list of possible functions that should be included in an interface. What's really difficult is having the discipline and the courage to make difficult choices and remove anything that is not absolutely essential or consistent with the primary purpose of the product.
I actually think you can say the same about all forms of expression in your business. Keep distilling it down and down. Just when you think you can't throw anything more away, strip it back even further. There is no such thing as too simple in design or communications.
Hailing from Wiesbaden, Germany, Rams spent more than 40 years at Braun as well as Vitsœ and established himself as one of the most influential designers of the twentieth century. Less and More cements this. In both text and graphic form, this beautiful publication not only references his views on design, the beauty of less-ness, but his ten principles for good design: 1. Good design is innovative. 2. Good design makes a product useful. 3. Good design is aesthetic. 4. Good design makes a product understandable. 5. Good design is unobtrusive. 6. Good design is honest. 7. Good design is long-lasting. 8. Good design is thorough down to the last detail. 9. Good design is environmentally-friendly. 10. Good design is as little design as possible.