There is a sudden rise in minimal blogging engines that claim to have simple, no-nonsense writing interfaces. I guess many developers realise there is no point in fighting the big platforms like WordPress and Ghost on the features they are pros at. Strip out everything bloggers do not want and call that a simple system. But it is difficult to be simple and still attract users – you can’t roll out the same features WordPress has, just in black and white.
As I have noted in a couple of #meta posts till now, write.as does it well. It has got a brilliant writing interface and a wonderful default reading experience. It is not minimal. It is just pleasant enough. And it is in this restrained form that it achieves simplicity and yet looks and behaves aesthetically to appeal to users.
In quest of going minimal, many systems strip out the polish off the features they provide. They look ugly. To me, it matters how the systems look. If where I write doesn’t give me a pleasant vibe, I may not visit the place that often. I am picky about the fonts in the places I read stuff at. Flaunting system default fonts is not my definition of simplicity.
A simple system is not one that makes and gives no choices. Instead, it makes bold, opinionated choices.