A great post detailing the difference between simplifying for the sake of design instead of for the sake of usability. There are some really great points made, especially about how many clicks it takes to perform rather basic actions.
It’s also stop putting away the things I’m currently using. I might like to have a clean desk but if I’m writing a letter, I don’t want to open my drawer every time I want to reach for a piece of paper, pen, pencil or eraser.
This really hit home for me, because I ran into this very problem a few months back. I decided to keep my pen in the pen drawer at my office — a rather innocent decision which I made so that I always knew where my pen was (I frequently would “lose” my pen and spend 20 seconds looking for it).
It felt good to make the change, but it turned out to be incredibly inconvenient. Even though I lose my pen sometimes, the benefit of having it out and ready far outweighs the “always knowing where it is” notion.
The same carries over with buttons in user interfaces. I hate the Mac OS X inspector windows that I always have to click through to get that one action that really should be accessible from the toolbar. (I am looking at you Pages, and your damned hidden “object causes wrap” check box — I hate you.)