With so many technology gizmos, mashups and widgets at a broker's fingertips, it can be especially tempting to add more bells and whistles to the company's website and toolkit. However, eliminating clutter and tweaking, testing and refining a website or tech tool to boost its ease of use -- or usability -- can lead to dramatic improvements. In Steve Krug's "Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems," he notes a common mistake: "One of the things people are often tempted to do when there's a usability problem is to add something." Jonathan Ive, the globally recognized award-winning designer and senior vice president of industrial design at Apple, incorporates a minimalist design philosophy in striving to eliminate complexity. If an element is not essential to the design or functionality, it is not integrated. Today, websites can contain a wealth of content and information. Organizing this information i...
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