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Business needs to practice the tao of simplicity
August 1, 2013: 2:48 PM ET

By Doreen Lorenzo

doreen_21FORTUNE -- Every day we are inundated with ever more complex technologies in the products and services we are offered. Yet what we really crave is a return to simplicity and back-to-basics minimalism in design, form, and function.

Invoking the concept of simplicity might sound like heresy at a time when technology is generally regarded as a savior that makes our lives easier, more enjoyable and meaningful. That's all true. But at the same time the onslaught of technology has also engendered big data, smartphones with a thousand features, and more apps to chose from than any sentient being could ever use in a lifetime. Our many digital devices come fitted with higher computational power and faster data communications than ever before. Cars are driving without us at the wheel. A wearable device monitors our heart rate, and our clothing is embedded with sensors.

The complexity of things has become so overwhelming that we want to turn it off. We want to enjoy the fruits of that technology in a simple and easy to understand way, whether it's downloading movies or ordering takeout food for dinner. We can't stop the march of complex technology -- and in fact, we like the benefits that complexity brings us -- but as designers, we realize that it's time to keep that complexity neatly tucked away and out of sight.

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Many services that do are hugely popular, like Netflix (NFLX) and Zipcar. And then there's...

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