Digital Minimalism – the way ahead



December 7, 2015

The traditional construct of any smart devices based workflows derives from the desktop world. While mobile approaches created delightful experience , the fundamental composition of the application is essentially the same. The elements of life of mobile technologies like proximity, presence, media etc enriched usecases, however the mass adoption of these technologies are not felt as a mandatory element of workflow modernization.

Digital brings a great momentum to enterprises, it enables problems to be envisioned and solved by larger than life approaches. This puts pressure on digital approaches to solve problems much different from we used to do with our traditional approaches. Minimalism is the essence of problem solving. The systems, the interactions, the engagements etc when approached as minimalistic, it renders a great user experience.  The focus shifts to the value provided than the methods used.

To achieve minimalism in tasks there are fundamental shifts we have to embrace. The way we interact with devices has to be more natural and un intrusive. The way data supports workflow decision making will have to be more KPI, inferences and recommendations driven. Traditional models had a fundamental disadvantage of information overloads at the systems of engagement. Often a B2E workflow is on repetitive tasks; the role mandates; and the style of performing the task and decisions are; often neglected by the problem solving approaches.

The Business workflows provides greater values when engaged  with our natural device consumption patterns of alerts, notifications, location advices, micro tasks etc. The following digram illustrates the paradigm shift in problem solving. The traditional model, the left hand side of the illustration shows tasks crowded with calander, numerous checklists, numerous pinups, wide variety of data presentation , a wide collection of performance statistics, a wide range of documents and media contents associated etc.The right hand side of the illustration demonstrates a filtered approach of problem solving where relavant workflow alerts and actions are triggered to and fro end user.

The Building Blocks of a Minimalistic Workflow

Minimalistic work flow is minialistic only in the experience rendered, the homework to achieve the same is many times complex than how we realize the traditional workflows. The fundamental aspect of any critical workflow is that;

  • it can be sliceable to any micro workflows
  • their execution, decision making itself produces data that can accelerate workflows for future
  • information is always layered and can be progressively consumed for taking decisions
  • user context will be an insight to select a certain data set to take decisions

The key compositions of minimalistic application are;

  • Smart Alerts
  • Micro workflows
  • Smart Dashboards for decision making
  • Information layering
  • Context consumption as a filter / decision criteria

Smart alerts are context aware alerts that can leverage multiple touch points of the users within a device. That will include alerts via notification area, collaboration footprints, routed alerts to extensions like IOT.  Micro workflows are segments of workflows that can be decoupled and executed. Smart darshboards will give a holistic view of the workflows status and the recommendations to assist decision making. Information layering enables progressive disclosures of information that enables workflow to be minimalistic. Context of the application and the user enables the right choice of presentation of the microworkflows. The integrated  approach of all these above creates a minimalistic approach for problem solving.

Focus areas of Minimalistic Design

Workflow constructs has to be revisited in its totality to create a minimalistic design. The key focus areas to bring this kind of disruption are the following

Focus Area


What this means ?

Workflow Intelligence

How the workflow can be  quantified to make make decision making ?

KPI driven workflow stages even to the micro level

Health analytics over the collected KPIs

Intelligence and Computing  over history and predictions for future

Experience KPIs to measure the effectiveness of engagement

Multi engagement workflow

Muli engagement consideration ( all touchpoints ) for micro workflow level

Omni channel seamlessness for the same experience at a micro workflow level between web and app rendered on any devices, and the various alert channels

Contextual user engagement ( Calender, Map, Collaboration, Dashboard, AppLite, AppFull mode etc) based on the device usage

Smart alerts and notifications based on the micro workflow needs

Micro workflow delegation possibility

App Hubbing

The App is now the hub a larger ecosystem of problem solving

App is the aggregator and delegator for all systems of engagement

App performs the role of a server and a service provider to interact with Things that are engagement touch points.

App Integrations

App will be talking to multiple systems to realize the minimalistic design

There will be multiple enabler systems that app will have to integrate with to deal with the minimalistic experience

App can have a cloud based cache state that enables the hubbing, learning, analytics and rendering assistance

Minimalism is one of the essential considerations for next generation digital experience building.  This design approaches enable to create compellling customer journey realizations that are heavily transformational in nature. This design philosophy will definitely form one of the core guidelines for digital business transformations.



This article was written by akp from CapGemini: Capping IT Off and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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