KISS [As Seen By an Open Design Admin]

In my elementary school in Northern Virginia, my teacher, Mr. F. had unique ways of instruction. One day, he told half of us to leave the classroom and wait in the hall for five minutes. We all lined up against the wall like obedient 5th graders and spoke in whispers, wondering what he was doing. After five minutes, he re-emerged and replaced us all with the other half. Taking our seats, we noticed that Mr. F. was hiding himself behind a cabinet, so that none of us could clearly see what it was exactly that he was doing. Suddenly, he emerges with a big red clown’s nose and polka dots painted on his face. He instructed us to listen closely as he began to jump on the desks and flail his arms, while shouting random facts.

“Barbie’s middle name is Milicent,” and so forth he shouted, for what seemed like forever. Until he abruptly ended his spiel and cleaned his face off. He called the other half of the class back in and had us all take out a blank piece of paper and record as many of the facts that we had heard.

As it turned out, Mr. F. had told the same list of facts to both half of the class. The only difference was, he presented the facts in an organized and straight forward fashion to the first half, without any paint or clown props. He surveyed our answers and showed us that those who did not have the added distraction retained twice as much information as those of us who did.

His ultimate lesson was KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid. The dancing and props that he wore represented fluffed up words and phrases that may be entertaining but ultimately distracted readers from the actual message he wanted to convey. He told us that our writing should not be so full of useless words and phrases as it should communicate a clear idea. Marketing and advertising should be the same way. Open Design and other quality digital marketing companies in the Northern Virginia Area seek to communicate ideas in a clear and precise manner through the medium of social media and online web development for local small businesses.

Even for professionals and especially those who seek to create engaging, eye-catching content while avoiding added fluff, keeping the KISS principle alive is difficult. Achieving a balance of entertainment and information is what comprises much of the challenge in the advertising field and all too often, the consumer will find themselves bombarded with entertaining but totally useless information and graphics that show nothing as to what the actual product or service actually is. I am thankful for Mr. F. and his antics. Without them, I could not have become an effective communicator and I could not have become a beneficial member of Open Design’s quality team.