When we’re talking minimalism in audio visual technology, we’re really talking about integration for customer convenience. Our tech is constantly getting smaller and more inter-connected. If you can take a complex, sophisticated AV system and make its control as simple as operating a toaster oven- you’re on the right track. Here are some tricks to reaching minimalism in AV.
Keeping It Simple
Minimalism in AV is constantly moving towards simpler and smarter. Combine everything. Integrate everything. One stop entertainment, control, and information. I’m pretty sure my new toothbrush has Wi-Fi.
However, there is a delicate balance to be maintained. If we get too far out ahead of ourselves with our integration bells and whistles, we risk alienating customers who view themselves as (s)low-tech. They’ll feel a system is too complex for them to operate confidently.
Designing AV with the Customer in Mind
When designing an A/V system, there are certain priorities it would behoove us to keep in mind.
Firstly, if you wouldn’t use it yourself, think twice about pushing it towards a customer. The benefit of this is two-fold. 1) It has already passed the first round of vetting with a professional in the field, and 2) You’ll intrigue the customer by being genuinely passionate about the potentialities of the system.
Second: Simplicity is key in integration with a minimalist mindset. If your design is not intuitive and easy to use, the customer will find it to be a burden. The idea is not to intimidate, but to use minimalist design principles to draw the user in. If it’s simple to use and does what it’s supposed to, the customer will be in love.
Clean & Inviting
Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean that the system itself needs to be minimalist or lacking in innovation or complexity. The user-interface, however, needs to be clean and inviting.
“Here’s the power switch, here’s how you control audio levels, here’s where you press play.”
The customer generally won’t care much beyond simple operating instructions about what’s under the hood. Explanations need to be short and jargon free. We’re all passionate about this technology, but keep the esoteric tech-talk relegated to your peers and fellow A/V dweebs.
Remember that we’re here to solve problems, not create them.