I recently returned from a 2.5 week trip around Italy where I basically ate pizza, pasta and gelato for every meal. It was a family holiday, but for tax purposes it was actually to attend the CREA creativity conference in Sestri Levante for 4 days. Sestri is picturesque coastal town between the Cinque Terre and Portofino, so easily the best place I’ve immersed myself for the purpose of going “back to school”.
What I’m constantly amazed by is how many features get rammed into new products by marketers and product designers these days in an attempt to out do the competition when in fact, the art is working out which features are distracting and superfluous.
“Good design is as little design as possible. Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products aren’t burdened with inessentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity!”
A friend suggested we check out a bar in Florence that had amazing local wine. We tracked it down and it was exactly that, a bar in a hole in the wall with a range of locally produced wine. Standing room was on the street. Ever been at a bar and struggled to find somewhere to store your glass or got it mixed up with someone else, well no worries, how about the handy little numbered wine shelves either side of the bar.
On the flight back to Australia I was inspired to open a Pizzeria, Gelateria or Pastaria in Melbourne. I just love the single minded focus the Italians have with their food. Having run this morning in 9 degree weather with sideways rain I’m not sure about the consistency of demand for Gelato. A life of pizza experience and a quick google suggests that Melbourne has plenty of great pizza options.
So maybe it’s a pasta fatta in casa restaurant?
For now I’m going to show restraint and focus and get stuck into building the next round of prototypes on a couple of product design challenges we’re currently working on and test out what can be striped out to make them timeless as a fresh Italian margherita pizza.
What are you developing at the moment that you could strip away a few superfluous features?