Feature rich software looks chaotic but does provide high level customization, whereas minimal approach in product design often makes the user do limited tasks and it ignores the product customization according to the user needs.
For the sake of minimalism & simplicity, User freedom in sense of customization (personalized product approach) is compromised and vice versa.
A few well known chaotic and messy software that provide a wide range of features does also provide customization to its users. For example Vivaldi Browser, Blender, Adobe Photoshop.
Whereas some software that prioritizes minimalism and simplicity, exerts limitations to design customization. e.g. Apple products and software, Spotify.
Both kinds of products are loved and hated. It depends on the user and the product purpose.
A few products or software that look messy, does provide you with a workspace creation feature to create an individual or personalized version of the product to get the best out of it. Whereas some of them are made the same for everyone like Spotify, App and Game stores and some basic tools like notepad.
A few software that offer a wide range of features and help in growing a certain skill, usually provide a good level of design customization. For instance, If you know how to use Adobe Illustrator or Blender, You can write it in your resume. Both of them are known for creating illustrations and 3D modeling respectively and both of these provide workspace personalization like features.
Can you mark using Spotify as a skill in your resume?
Probably not. Because it’s not meant for growing a skill. Using a DJ console software which can be quite chaotic should offer customization or personalization.
Let’s talk about browsers. There are a lot of them. Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Brave, Safari, Opera, Vivaldi and now Arc.
Which one do you use?
Probably Chrome or Edge for Google or Microsoft related issues respectively.. Using chrome has been essential for a few developers.
Safari users are from the Apple community where they prefer minimalism and ease more of the user’s freedom. You can not do a lot of customization in Safari.
Vivaldi is by far the most customizable browser I have seen. It offers a wide range of customization along with themes, Vivaldi Mail, Calendar, Notes and much more features to use.
Brave for privacy and security concerned people.
I’m guessing Arc is for freedom-loving and aesthetic people, although I haven’t used arc yet.
In Operating systems, Linux based Operating Systems are highly customizable and provide a range of distributions. Any two computers running on Linux can have totally different UI and UX depending on what Linux Distributions they are using. These could be Ubuntu or Debian or Linux Mint.
Whereas Apple’s macOS has the almost same interface and less customization features.
Windows falls somewhere in between having customization up to a range and limitations of OS distributions.
If you can make the user experience best for everyone which is possible when your product offers a handful of features, and if you ensure that the UX design of your product is the best combination of the features that a user can possibly need while using the product (No unnecessary feature for the target audience). You can make your product limited and less customizable hence promoting simplicity and minimalism.
For example, people who only want to listen to music and want to get good music recommendations, don’t probably need a full grade equalizer as a feature in their music player. They would definitely choose Spotify and it would serve as the best product for them. Minimal, clean and fulfilling the purpose.
Sometimes customization makes the product look ugly and it is often criticized for this.
Apple products do provide limited features because they maintain their beauty with it by offering less customization and keeping it dead simple.
Take a look at iCloud Mail and Vivaldi mail altogether.
Which one looks clean and which one provides a wide range of features and possibilities?
Gmail stands somewhere in between. Looking beautiful with enough customization. Hence It is universal.
Vivaldi Mail gives all the power in your hand and it’s better for those who seek freedom and want to control everything by themselves. (Certainly not for the beginners)
Whereas Apple Mail works as a smart assistant that keeps you calm and clutter free. It shows you only what you need to know and tackle the rest by itself.