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Joe Smiley

Group Design Manager | Blizzard Entertainment

Joe Smiley is a respected design leader who has developed innovative experiences for over 20 years for many Fortune 500 companies – including Activision Blizzard, E*TRADE, PwC, Marriott, AOL, Disney, FedEx, and others – as well as numerous government agencies and nonprofits. He is currently the Head of Ecommerce design for Blizzard Entertainment, where he leads the development of world class experiences for gamers. Additionally, he is a successful entrepreneur who co-founded and ran multiple tech startups. He is also a speaker and published author, and he recently served as a judge for the MIT $100k challenge. He holds an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business, and a B.A. in Design from Virginia Tech. His ideas on utilizing design for disruptive innovation can be followed on

Simple is exponentially harder than complex, namely because there’s a psychological chasm that most teams cannot surpass… or perhaps they have not been setup to succeed.

5 Reasons Why Designing Simple Experiences is Psychologically Impossible
  • Designing simple and seamless experiences is exponentially harder than designing complex solutions
  • Simple solutions require an extraordinary amount of time, money, and skill
  • Other obstacles to simple design include complexity bias, loss aversion, unpredicted behavior, and fear of risks
Read the full article to learn more about the psychology behind designing a simple experience.
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