Brain would like to minimize the efforts ...
Consider some of the threads in completely diverse fields:
- Amit's Thoughts: Thoughts about pricing - wherein the article, while listing choices available in pricing, brings out the point that fine-grain choices such as (per-call or per-view) are more costly when you consider the cost of thinking involved in making right decisions. For the same reason, gmail (where you don't bother to delete the emails) is much better choice than quota-enabled emails because you have to bother about making choices with each email. And when you have too many choices to make, the cost of email increases.
Neuro-aesthetics, Perceptual Grammar, Art, and Usability by Suman Kumar, wherein he connects usability to the fact that humans would like to minimize the work by brain (and supported by another study in this area).
And perhaps in many other areas (such as Adam Bosworth's emphasis on simiplicity in user interfaces, APIs etc.) - the same theme repeats. And yet, when we design things, we don't give sufficient importance to the simplicity angle - especially when you consider the cost of thinking involved in using and interacting with systems.
And perhaps the same principle is source of the bad designs in the first place!