Summary

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: 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.”
©2012 John Maeda (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

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3 out of 5 stars
By Mario on 14-02-18

ok<br />

short and simple, I kneed to go back and reread the last chapters and place the laws in practice

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5 out of 5 stars
By rings48 on 11-12-17

Get past the start and be impressed

The beginning seems pretentious but the 'meat' of the book is filet mignon.

My brother and I started listening during a long car ride, which soon led to us mocking the early oversimplification of the book which made the author sound more like a college student trying to sound smart than an enlightened author. But once the ideas of the book start flowing, we become deeply in love with the author's honest thoughts. Often he recognizes the over simplification and balances them with stories of success and failures of simplification. By the end, the over simplification at the beginning is repeated and each worded meant something.

So I recommend this book whole-heartedly to anyone in marketing or engineering as a way to improve your craft.

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