Book: The Laws of Simplicity

lawsofsimplicityI 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.

  1. Reduce. The simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction.
  2. Organize. Organization makes a system of many appear fewer.
  3. Time. Savings in time appear like simplicity.
  4. Learn. Knowledge makes everything simpler.
  5. Differences. Simplicity and Complexity need each other.
  6. Context. What lies in the periphery of Simplicity is definitely not peripheral.
  7. Emotion. More emotions are better than less.
  8. Trust. In simplicity we trust.
  9. Failure. Some things cannot be made simple.
  10. 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.

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