I’ve written about simplification many times in the past. Here’s a perfect example of simplifying an interface to a fault.
In Mac OS X Mountain Lion, iCal was subject to several changes. It’s alarms have been integrated with the new Notification Center. Previously, when an alert displayed for an iCal alarm, it included the option to set a snooze period. I might set an alarm to go off 10 minutes before a teleconference, but then set it to snooze for 5 minutes when it goes off. The new alerts, however, only provide a Snooze button. There is no way to specify the length of time, nor does it tell you how long it will snooze. I pressed the Snooze button once just to find out how long it would go. It’s a fifteen-minute snooze. That’s rather long. I doubt I’ll use it very often.
Certainly, calendar alerts have been simplified. The user doesn’t have to select a time period from a menu. It’s a binary decision: close it or snooze. But in this case, simplification is a red herring. It doesn’t save time if I puzzle over its behavior. It’s not easier to use if it isn’t useful.