The Laws of Simplicity - John Maeda - Deepstash
The Laws of Simplicity - John Maeda

The Laws of Simplicity - John Maeda

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The Laws of Simplicity - John Maeda

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Subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful

John Maeda is a graphic designer and computer scientist. His book, The Laws of Simplicity, proposes ten laws for simplifying complex systems in business and life.

Think of it as simplicity 101.

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JOHN MAEDA

Technology has made our lives more full, yet at the same time we’ve become uncomfortably “full.”

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1 Reduce

The simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction.

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2 Organize

Organization makes a system of many appear fewer.

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3

Savings in time feel like simplicity.

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4 Learn

Knowledge makes everything simpler.

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5 Differences

Simplicity and complexity need each other.

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6 Context

What lies in the periphery of simplicity is definitely not peripheral.

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7 Emotion

More emotions are better than less.

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8

In simplicity we trust.

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9 Failure

Some things can never he made simple.

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10 The One

Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.

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Three Keys

In addition to the ten Laws, Maeda offers three Keys to achieving simplicity in the technology domain.

1 AWAY More appears like less by simply moving it far, far away.
2 OPEN Openness simplifies complexity.
3 POWER Use less, gain more.

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The simplest way to achieve simplicity is through reduction

When in doubt, just remove. But be careful of what you remove. … When it is possible to reduce a system’s functionality without significant penalty, true simplification is realized.

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What is simplicity about?

Simplicity is about the unexpected pleasure derived from what is likely to be insignificant and would otherwise go unnoticed.

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Squint at the world

The best designers in the world all squint when they look at something. They squint to see the forest from the trees-to find the right balance. Squint at the world. You will see more, by seeing less.

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Time Savings

When forced to wait, life seems unnecessarily complex. Savings in time feel like simplicity. … A shot from the doctor hurts less when it happens quickly, and even less when we know that the shot will save our lives.

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Knowledge makes everything simpler

This is true for any object, no matter how difficult. The problem with taking time to learn a task is that you often feel you are wasting time, a violation of the third Law. We are well aware of the dive-in-head-first approach-“I don’t need the instructions, let me just do it.” But in fact this method often takes longer than following the directions in the manual.

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JOHN MAEDA

Remember, “Technology and life only become complex if you let it be so.”

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