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The Laws of Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life

The Laws of Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life

Ten laws of simplicity for business, technology, and design that teach us how to need less but get more.

Finally, we are learning that simplicity equals sanity. We're rebelling against technology that's too complicated, DVD players with too many menus, and software accompanied by 75-megabyte "read me" manuals. The iPod's clean gadgetry has made simplicity hip. But sometimes we find ourselves caught up in the simplicity paradox: we want something that's simple and easy to use, but also does all the complex things we might ever want it to do. In The Laws of Simplicity, John Maeda offers ten laws for balancing simplicity and complexity in business, technology, and design—guidelines for needing less and actually getting more.

Maeda—a professor in MIT's Media Lab and a world-renowned graphic designer—explores the question of how we can redefine the notion of "improved" so that it doesn't always mean something more, something added on.

Maeda's first law of simplicity is "Reduce." It's not necessarily beneficial to add technology features just because we can. And the features that we do have must be organized (Law 2) in a sensible hierarchy so users aren't distracted by features and functions they don't need. But simplicity is not less just for the sake of less. Skip ahead to Law 9: "Failure: Accept the fact that some things can never be made simple." Maeda's concise guide to simplicity in the digital age shows us how this idea can be a cornerstone of organizations and their products—how it can drive both business and technology. We can learn to simplify without sacrificing comfort and meaning, and we can achieve the balance described in Law 10. This law, which Maeda calls "The One," tells us: "Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful."

Titulo:The Laws of Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life
Idioma de edición:English
ISBN:9780262134729
Tipo de formato:



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Acerca de John Maeda

John Maeda [MY-ay-da] is a world-renowned artist, graphic designer, computer scientist and educator whose career reflects his philosophy of humanizing technology. For more than a decade, he has worked to integrate technology, education and the arts into a 21st-century synthesis of creativity and innovation.


    The Laws of Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life Comentarios

  • Erika RS

    This short (100 page) book gives 10 laws and 3 key properties for designing simple systems. Maeda provides a hand summary of the laws and key principles:Ten laws:1. Reduce: The simplest way to achieve...

  • Rob

    well, i was hoping for much more philosophy. turned out to be mostly about product design.also, the register was often annoyingly sort of oprahish. explaining to the reader why certain objects make th...

  • Brynn

    "Simplicity is about the unexpected pleasure derived from what is likely to be insignificant and would otherwise go unnoticed." (2)"The Pareto Principle is useful as a rule of thumb: assume that in an...

  • Ettore Pasquini

    If this book was supposed to make me a better designer, it failed. It's a collection of thoughts on design taken from a more abstract/holistic point of view. This wouldn't be a bad idea in itself, if ...

  • Rafael Bandeira

    Good study on what simplicity, both real and perceived, are made of, and what to focus on to achieve it. For product design or business management, or even daily life, good concepts are present in the...

  • Mat Ranson

    I like Maeda, I have one of his old design books. This one started off well enough but quite soon I began to feel it wasn't really aimed at me. Maeda has a great capacity for summarising and shrinking...

  • Sophia

    The book starts off on a strong note with the first law of simplicity: thoughtful reduction. Reduction is achieved through the principles of shrinking, hiding and embodying. Technologies have been sim...

  • Jay

    This is really a list of 10 or 13 laws/principles of simple design, with a little discussion and a few examples under each. The laws seemed pretty simple, so simple they seemed either self evident or ...

  • Dave Sanders

    This is a sort of "Zen and the art of Being Simple." It's not full of practical advice, but more of a thought-process and style that you should apply to everything to make it simple. Some good underly...

  • Simon Bostock

    This is a kind of 'barely book' - it's slight, in every sense of the word, and I can barely recall any of it. But I wrote oodles in the margins. And I've thought 'through' the book many times.Go figur...

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