The Dirtiest Word in UX: Complexity

From UX Magazine:

In some cultures complex products are more appealing than products that appear simple. In South Korea, for example, products like refrigerators are designed to appear more complex than non-Korean ones, even when the prices and specifications are very similar, because that complexity is equated with sophistication and value, and is thus a symbol of prosperity.

Don Norman’s justification…

Why are Yahoo! and MSN such complex-looking places? Because their systems are easier to use. Not because they are complex, but because they simplify the life of their users by letting them see their choices on the home page: news, alternative searches, other items of interest.

It’s really in context. On-Star hides it’s complexity behind a single button or automated systems, but it’s still complex. Some products (think that The Onion Video about Sony) should be complex because of the context of their user base. It’s all about who you’re targeting.