Over the last few years, there’s been a movement towards Progressive Reduction, where the design of something is gradually simplified for the sophisticated user.  The outcome can have a variety of results – like an icon that no longer needs a label or a logo that has been reduced to a quarter of what it was originally.  Whatever the case may be, the overall result of controlled and strategic Progressive Reduction is typically a more elegant and less crowded user interface.

A very simple and commonplace example of Progressive Reduction would be the search function on a website or within an app.  At one point, there may have been an actual bar with a magnifying glass and the word “search” displayed next to it.  But all that’s left now is a magnifying glass.  Nothing beyond that is actually needed.

In this case, the user understands the interface so well that one minimalistic icon can represent an action, a word, or an entire idea.  The designer has progressively reduced the interface.  Basically, it’s the design version of a brand name becoming a generic trademark – like Kleenex, Google, Jacuzzi, and Crock-Pot – but in a good way.

But how does this far-off marketing term apply to a traditional MSP?  In more ways than you think.

MSPs like to over explain.

Whether it’s on a website or during a sales presentation, MSPs like to over explain everything.  It’s a natural reaction because people in the tech field can never get enough of those specs and bytes.  As a result, they drone on and on about stuff other people outside the company don’t really need to know about, and in the process, they miss their opportunity to actually connect with others.

There are points where more of an explanation is needed, but these points are few and far between – and it’s almost as if the explanation itself is spread throughout multiple marketing pieces and in-person interactions.  You can think of it as your Progressive Reduction of specs and bytes until an agreement is signed.

MSPs like crowded places.

No matter what it’s for or where it’s going, MSPs like things to be crowded.  In other words, everything and anything that an MSP typically produces is crowded with unnecessary information.  A flyer.  A website.  A webinar.  A presentation.  An email.  It’s all crowded.

You need to remember, though, that less is more.  But don’t underestimate the art of making less.  Keeping things simple without confusing people or leaving out the necessary information is an incredibly difficult thing to accomplish – which is why Progressive Reduction is considered a gradual process.  It requires time, organization, and strategic implementation.  But it definitely pays off.

MSPs like to overcompensate. 

MSPs live inside very complicated subject matter, and because of this, they tend to over compensate.  They naturally assume people don’t understand the solutions they offer or that they struggle to grasp IT concepts, and this would be a terrible mistake for two reasons.

For starters, if you assume people don’t know what you’re talking about, then, in a roundabout way, you’re insulting their intelligence.  Although you don’t see it this way, a person high enough up in a company probably will see it that way.

Secondly, just because someone doesn’t fully understand your solutions, doesn’t mean you have a problem.  In fact, if we go back to where we were earlier, a conversation that goes too deep might make it harder for people to connect with you or your solutions.  Don’t overcompensate for things that don’t need to be compensated for.