Keep It Simple

Sometimes a coincidence gets your attention. I had spotted it among Mitch Joel’s Best Business Books Of 2006 and then saw a post by Garr Reynolds about it. The ‘it’ is John Maeda‘s book, The Laws of Simplicity. It seems that Reynolds was impressed that the author imposed a limit of 100 pages for himself, which is apparently consistent with Maeda’s Third Law: “Savings in time feels like simplicity.” Apparently much of the book’s content can be found on Maeda’s blog, The Laws of Simplicity. So it’s basically all online.

From the blog, I see there are ten laws in all:

Law 1: REDUCE – The simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction.
Law 2: ORGANIZE – Organization makes a system of many appear fewer.
Law 3: TIME – Savings in time feel like simplicity.
Law 4: LEARN – Knowledge makes everything simpler.
Law 5: DIFFERENCES – Simplicity and complexity need each other.
Law 6: CONTEXT – What lies in the periphery of simplicity is definitely not peripheral.
Law 7: EMOTION – More emotions are better than less.
Law 8: TRUST – In simplicity we trust.
Law 9: FAILURE – Some things can never be made simple.
Law 10: THE ONE – Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.

I guess there are some who need to read a long book like this to understand Simplicity. If the 10 Laws work for you, more power to you. For myself, the book fails my simple test, which is the Rule Of Three. Most people will not remember more than three items. In order to get people to do something, you really have to condense it all into not more than three steps. Of course that wouldn’t make a book or even a blog. In fact this post is about all it takes.

Related: Keep It Simple – for websites