The Laws of Simplicity

The Laws of Simplicity is a book written by John Maeda in 2006, in which he offers principles of design to create efficient, pleasing things for us to interact with.  In it, he starts by offering ten laws and three keys, looking at how we as a society look at devices and what he feels has succeeded.

As with many of his works, most of the book seems to be based on personal observation rather than researched fact, though he does provide a list of books which inspired the various sections at the back.   However, the basic messages with each chapter seem hard to refute–to make an object appear simple, hide or remove the superfluous features, that we will be pleasantly surprised when an object does more than its size would indicate, and so forth.  While some laws are mutable–in fact, one such observation is the fact that not everything can be simplified–these appear as a fairly solid framework of guidelines for design.


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