Laws of simplicity

Via another blog, I came across another very interesting blog from John Madea, a world renowned graphic designer (so his biography says).

The part that especially caught my eyes were what I presume were the basis for the blog – the Ten Laws of Simplicity.

Here’s the potted version

1 The simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction.

2 Organization makes a system of many appear fewer.

3 Savings in time feel like simplicity.

4 Knowledge makes everything simpler.

5 Simplicity and complexity need each other.

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

7 More emotions are better than less.

8 In simplicity we trust.

9 Some things can never be made simple.

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

On the whole these seem like some pretty solid rules but maybe not perfect, although, on reflection, this is probably down to the different fields of design we’re talking about.

Number 6 seems rather vague, especially when we’re talking about being simple. Perhaps it’s better explained by its buzzword – context.

Number 7 is, in my eyes, a contradiction to what creating clear information is about. Clear information should allow the user to make a purely objective decision, devoid of any confusion that emotions might bring in. I’m sure there are exceptions to this rule though, that someone will take pleasure in pointing out to me.

The rest of the rules seem like some good guides – in fact, I’m thinking of running out some ‘In simplicity we trust’ t-shirts.

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