Streamlining Design - Less Is Not Always More

As an end user, can you imagine using an HMI where the help screens were removed just for the benefit of a simpler design? How about if the indicators for required fields on complex forms were removed? What if all the word-based labeling from buttons were replaced with confusing iconography? How would this impact your job?

When it comes to streamlining or simplifying interfaces, less is not necessarily more. Industrial designers advise their peers to take the time to think through design changes, test the interface and research what you can or should not take out of the design. Whatever changes you decide on should not affect the interface's usability or functionality.

Do you have an annecdote to share with us where your interface design was modified and this change affected your job? Maybe the navigation buttons suddenly went missing from your interface, or your abort command suddenly changed from something simple like a click of the mouse to performing 20 different key strokes at once. Let us know.