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

I saw this book at MOCA (the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles).  So, I took down the information about it in my Blackberry, ordered the book, and just finished it.

This is a good book.  This is 100 pages of useful content; it reminded me of the underlying reasons to stress, for example, documents that are as simple as possible to perform their stated goal.  This is the kind of book some people will say is self-obvious, but those are the same people I’ve seen violate these basic design principles.  The book includes a few techniques I thought were good for achieving increased simplicity and related clarity.

Here are the laws:

  • REDUCE The simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction.
  • ORGANIZE Organization makes a system of many appear fewer.
  • TIME Savings in time feel 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 can never be made simple.
  • THE ONE Simplicity is abOllt subtracting the obvious. and adding the meaningful.

Followed by the three keys:

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

I highly recommend this book, and I may offer it around my team for reading and discussion.

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