I read The Laws of Simplicity (Amazon) on a recommendation, and really appreciated it. Both as a look back to where design seemed to be going when it was written (it was published in 2006), and for the laws themselves.
- Reduce. The simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction.
- Organize. Organization makes a system of many appear fewer.
- Time. Savings in time appear like simplicity.
- Learn. Knowledge makes everything simpler.
- Differences. Simplicity and Complexity need each other.
- Context. What lies in the periphery of Simplicity is definitely not peripheral.
- Emotion. More emotions are better than less.
- Trust. In simplicity we trust.
- Failure. Some things cannot be made simple.
- The One. Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.
My favourite law was 5 – that Simplicity and Complexity need each other, because without Complexity we can’t appreciate Simplicity. It’s something that I’m continuing to noodle on.
I found it a worthwhile read, because it made me think in new ways about design. The only thing I would say is that the language can be a bit academic in places.