Time, gentlemen, please… | Cardinal Path Blog
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Time, gentlemen, please…

Unusually for a man such as myself who eschews frivolous boozing, I found myself in a local drinking hostelry one evening last week. As I relished my postprandial libation and continued to read a fine piece of literature, a curious feeling descended upon me. After my momentary confusion, I realized I had encountered this feeling some years ago. Lo and behold, it was an idea, an epiphany, a stark realization.

Having regained my shattered composure, I groped around for the nearest writing implement and started to scribble my thought onto a suspiciously damp napkin. Put simply, it dawned on me that simplicity is often surrendered for the sake of style. Sometimes, the stunningly obvious is somehow overshadowed by the ridiculously complex.

Moreover, this notion applies to a multitude of contradistinct entities, from businesses to novels, a musical score to a public transit timetable. If my ever eroding memory serves me well, I believe it was Albert Einstein who insisted that everything should be as simple as possible, but never simpler. Bravo, Albert, you are not such a bearded old fool after all. Timing coupled with simplicity can deliver the most powerful of results.

When you can steal a moment from your hectic, cluttered life, consider how the timing of ideas, innovations and momentary lapses into genius have defined history. From the majestic renaissance art of Botticelli to the enchanting allure of the baroque standards of Vivaldi; from the unfettered cries of eureka after bathroom enlightenment to the discovery of penicillin at St Marys circa 1928, it must be agreed that all ideas have their time. Often, the finest of them all are the ones which we cannot believe have been so elusive by the time they are finally discovered.

With all these thoughts blowing through my mind like tumbleweed through the Arizona wastelands, I decided to apply my annual notion to that most quintessential of world altering inventions, the Internet. Love it with a Shakespearean passion or loath it with an almost Eridan hatred, the internet has radically altered our existence. I defy anyone, except maybe the most ardent luddite, to deny the usefulness of an online world. From purchasing my most desired and delectable British confectionary to booking a round the world adventure, the Internet affords me such luxury. All this from the silky, unconditional comfort of my chaise longue.

If only there were universal standards. I visit one website and am almost blinded by how blundering, bulky, bumbling, bungling, unpolished, unrefined, maladroit and atrociously amateurish it is; To my overwhelming pleasure, however, a few moments later I travail elsewhere and am captivated, charmed, ecstatic and full of unbridled joy with how magnificent, marvelous and outstanding the alternative website turns out to be. Usability, it seems, is something which is of paramount importance to some companies, but entirely without concern to others.

When you achieve the fine balance of delivering a seamless browsing experience through the labyrinth of your website to a visitor, without treating them like an imbecile, usability is yours. Well done. Have another slice of cake with your Earl Grey tea and congratulations on embracing the simple importance of usability.

As ever, I can but borrow the words of a genius to fully explicate what I am attempting to say. On this occasion, I offer the words of that prodigious, towering, tremendous, vast, voluminous French writer of the 19th century, Monsieur Victor Hugo&An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.

Now, someone pass me the scones before they are devoured by the ever gluttonous sales department&Goodnight.

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