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17 Comments

What Do You Mean By Easy?

My next project is supposed to be "easy to use". Wanted to see this in the wild, with software you use.

Is there an app, a tool, a SaaS that you find easy?

  • Easy to use
  • Easy to register
  • Easy to monetize

Or any other way it is easy?

If so, then why is it easy?
What makes it easy?
Does it save you time or energy or both?

And if you would like to go further... Do you have an internal mental difference between "simple" and "easy"?

  1. 2

    I just ran through a list, and I don't think I'd describe almost any of the tech products I use as "easy to use." A few exceptions:

    • Google Podcasts, the Android app (not the web app) is exceptionally good. Blows every other podcast app's UI out of the water for me. I'm not sure if I'd say it's "easy," but it's intuitive and sensible.
    • Google search is easy. It's so simple that it's hard to use it incorrectly.
    • Netflix and YouTube are pretty easy. The major use-cases—search or browse—are effortless to figure out and do repeatedly.

    And that might be it?

  2. 2

    Something that reduces my effort in order to reach a goal that I find valuable.

  3. 2

    This is super broad
    googles home page is both easy and simple
    mind mapping tools are easy and complex or is it simple but hard?

    maybe
    easy is something I can do
    simple is something I can explain

    it's easier if it has less steps / takes less time to get outcome
    it's simpler if it has less concepts to teach/learn

    1. 1

      This is an elegant description, love it!

    2. 1

      I find myself on a similar graph or matrix often

      a 4 square matrix formed by

      • Easy and Hard
      • Simple and Complicated

      So you'd agree, then: "Easy to Do" and "Simple to Explain" is best?

      1. 1

        Surely that's a good start for a winning recipe :)

        Throw in useful and valuable and your even stacking higher.

        1. 1

          How are useful and valuable diametrically opposed? something like this?

          "Useful" is beneficial
          "Valuable" is logically beneficial

          1. 2

            YouTube is useful
            SAP is valuable

            There are many very low valuble useful thing, commonly expected to be free.
            A submarine is valuable but it's not useful for many people, in many situations or even for one person alone ;)

            I think it's a trap many get into, if people love it and use but would never consider paying for it (directly or indirectly) it's useful but not valuable....

            Better make something valuable above all other considerations in my mind.
            The value is only set by someone actually paying for it.

            1. 1

              The total value still equal to value for one person times amount of people.

              So I'm not saying don't go for something that has a mass market

              Just don't confuse mass market and someone paying for it
              To mass market of people just clicking a way with 0 stickiness (would switch to alternative in a second), not valuing it to a point of paying or taking any action that would result in a payoff

              Eaiser for smaller businesses to provide more value to less people I believe...

              Other times the mass part should be recognised as only a marketing part of the business

  4. 1

    Its easy if it doesn't get in my way.

  5. 1

    Easy to me means 3 things:

    • Blazing fast
    • Specializes in one thing and owns that thing
    • Minimizes my mental bandwidth (e.g. big CTA buttons, fewer options, autofill, wizards, etc.)
  6. 1

    Easy: Obtaining a desired outcome with less effort than existing alternatives.

    You can then expand the definition of "effort" with some qualifiers: money, time, cognitive load, physical exertion, compromises, opportunity costs, etc.

    So, yea, easy is a relative term but you can, imo, generalize people's experiences to measure it.

    Amazon + Prime is relatively easier than going to Walmart during a Pandemic... except if you're an employee of Walmart.

  7. 1

    mm. good questions. this is hard as it's different for every product.

    "easy" and "simple" dno't mean the same thing for me, but, i'm struggling to think through differences atm. lol.

  8. 1

    When I think of easy SaaS, I think of Trello. It's easy because the mental overhead of "How do I use this tool?" is next to zero. It just works, and I can just get started without needing a complex walk-through or onboarding experience.

    As far as your other question goes, I definitely separate "simple" and "easy." Building an audience is simple to understand, but not easy to do.

  9. 1

    'Simple' to me is a measure of complexity in terms of how many moving parts are needed to get the thing done.
    "Put the thread into the eye of the needle."
    One step, very 'easy' to explain but is it easy to accomplish? Simple is not directly linked to how easy something is, so what do I think easy is?

    'Easy' is a measure of the amount of energy spent/needed to do the thing

    When something is not simple but is easy, it is tedious.

    When something is not simple and not easy, it is somebody else's problem.

    When something is simple and easy, it is done

  10. 1

    Easy comes to mind when I never need to think about "how", no user manual or onboarding required. Easy is also when things feel "smooth" wow just breezed through this process, was expecting to spend more time.

    Simple comes to mind when something has few parts. A knife is simple, doesn't make it easy to master fully.

    Recently I used balenaEtcher and it was both simple and easy. Cannot answer if they're easy to monetise though.

  11. 1

    Google Squoosh is a specialized image file compression tool I find easy to use as it has just a couple of common features I use 99.99% of the time: uploading an image, adjusting the compression factor via a slider, and saving the compressed file. Squoosh doesn't require registration and I'm not aware of any direct monetization options.

    As a non-native English speaker, I'm not the most qualified to comment on simple vs easy. But you may have non-native customers, so here's my shot.

    I associate simple with a tool providing a small set of features and options addressing the most common tasks or user needs. A tool is easy if it has a lowly-sloped or no learning curve, and its features and options are promimently accessible or require a very small number of steps.

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