The Principle of KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid



KISS or Keep It Simple Stupid is a design principle noted by the U.S. Navy in 1960. The principle states that most systems work best when they are kept simple.

Our Attrivute #7 states: “At HireVue we look for the simplest solutions possible without oversimplifying.”  One of the challenges at HireVue is our wonderful, continued growth. In order for us to maintain this growth, in order for things to scale, we have to KISS!

Why do we KISS?

When we keep it simple, solutions are more clear, we are able to maintain our focus on the most important things, problems can be solved faster, and solutions take less work to maintain in the future.

When we keep it simple, knowledge transfer happens with less effort and less stress. When team ramp up is simple, we can expand our teams smoothly and efficiently.

When we keep it simple, our customers can adopt our products more readily, and our customers will love our products, our materials and our processes, resulting in customer loyalty and higher transactional value.

So, how do we KISS?

We can take a step back, take a deep breath, then ask:

  • What is included in this solution that is not needed?

  • Can this solution be explained clearly?

  • Is this solution obvious to (insert the appropriate audience — customer, colleague, partner, etc)

With those answers in hand, we can lather, rinse, repeat, until the solution is as simple as it can effectively be. These questions work no matter what we are creating - marketing collateral, sales processes, user interface, engineering designs, unit tests, hiring strategies and more.

Creating consistency is another way to KISS.

Humans excel at recognizing and following patterns, we do so instinctively. So whenever possible, we make it easier on all of us when we reuse a known pattern. Let’s try to only force our fellow humans to learn a new pattern when there’s no other way.

These are exciting times. When we invest the time to keep it simple, we will all reap the rewards for the time to come. “Simplicity is hard work that pays off.”

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
— Leonardo da Vinci


Tara Lalor 

Technical Product Manager & Sr. Software Engineer