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

by

The Laws of Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life  Cover

ISBN13: 9780262134729
ISBN10: 0262134721
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:


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: Accept the fact that 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.

Review:

"In this breezy treatise, graphic designer and computer scientist Maeda proposes ten laws for simplifying complex systems in business and life-but mostly in product design. Maeda's upbeat explanations usefully break down the power of less-fewer features, fewer buttons and fewer distractions-while providing practical strategies for harnessing that power, such as SHE: 'Shrink, Hide, and Embody.' The first three laws, based on principles of reduction, organization and efficiency, form the foundation for increasingly complex and self-referential concepts like the importance of context and the potential for failure in simplification (by the end of the book, Maeda is chiding himself for using too many acronyms). Combined with trust and emotional engagement (laws 7 and 8), Maeda demonstrates how complex systems can become downright lovable: Maeda recalls 'the Tamagocchi craze of the late 1990s... showed that anyone could fall in love with a small electronic keychain,' drawing a corollary to the almighty iPod (an iconic example referred to throughout). Emphasizing the delicate balance-work involved in simplifying the complex, Maeda admits the process isn't easy, and that his ten laws don't necessarily provide all the answers-in numerous places, he directs readers to the web site where his theories continue to develop. Despite that, this slim book feels complete in itself; not only will it stimulate ideas, it will keep readers thumbing back for a second and third look at Maeda's deceptively simple advice." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Maeda's Laws and Keys have an obvious practical application in everyday running of a busy life (and desktop); they also have the potential to translate into a productive methodology for any craft or design practice....A very humble, enlightened and caring human, John's written a little bible." Liz Farrelly, Crafts Magazine

Review:

"Technology and life seem to be getting more complicated, yet two great success stories, Google and the iPod, both provide the antidote of simplicity. In The Laws of Simplicity, John Maeda uses humble prose to provide an accessible guide, business and life, observing the principle: 'Simplicity equals sanity.'" David Smith, The Observer

Review:

"'Keep it simple, Stupid' is an old piece of advice, so much so that it's often abbreviated as the 'KISS principle.' But it's advice that's often ignored, and MIT Professor John Maeda aims to change that....Designers and marketers will find Maeda's book both interesting and useful." New York Post

Review:

"Finally, a book about simplicity that is not too academic to read....At the book's heart is the Shinto belief in animism, the spirit in all objects. Nicholas Negroponte, one of Maeda's mentors, once told him to become a lightbulb, not a laser beam. This he has done; all this and more." Susan Salter Reynolds, The LA Times

Synopsis:

Ten laws of simplicity for business, technology, and design that teach us how to need less but get more.

Synopsis:

andlt;Pandgt;Ten laws of simplicity for business, technology, and design that teach us how to need less but get more.andlt;/Pandgt;

Synopsis:

andlt;Pandgt;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: Accept the fact that 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."andlt;/Pandgt;

Synopsis:

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: Accept the fact that 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."

About the Author

Graphic designer, visual artist, and computer scientist John Maeda is the founder of the SIMPLICITY Consortium at the MIT Media Lab, where he is E. Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Media Arts and Sciences. His work has been exhibited in Tokyo, New York, London, and Paris and is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. He is the recipient of many awards, including the Smithsonian Institution National Design Award in the United States, the Raymond Loewy Foundation Prize in Germany, and the Mainichi Design Prize in Japan. Professor Maeda maintains the simplicity blog at the MIT Media Lab.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Phailanx, February 8, 2009 (view all comments by Phailanx)
This book is fantastic at bringing together the usability aspects of products. Showing how simplicity is key to breaking into your audience and market. I would highly recommend this book to Product managers, UI designers or any commercially aware person/team that is trying to reach customers via a product.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780262134729
Author:
Maeda, John
Publisher:
MIT Press (MA)
Author:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
Industrial Design - Product
Subject:
Systems engineering
Subject:
Graphic Arts - General
Subject:
Design - Product
Subject:
General-General
Copyright:
Series:
Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life The Laws of Simplicity
Publication Date:
September 2006
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 17
Language:
English
Illustrations:
30 illus.
Pages:
117
Dimensions:
8 x 5.375 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Types
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Graphic Design
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Graphics
Business » General
Business » Management
Computers and Internet » Desktop Publishing » General
Reference » Science Reference » General
Reference » Science Reference » Technology
Science and Mathematics » Featured Titles in Tech » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » Technology

The Laws of Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 117 pages MIT Press - English 9780262134729 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this breezy treatise, graphic designer and computer scientist Maeda proposes ten laws for simplifying complex systems in business and life-but mostly in product design. Maeda's upbeat explanations usefully break down the power of less-fewer features, fewer buttons and fewer distractions-while providing practical strategies for harnessing that power, such as SHE: 'Shrink, Hide, and Embody.' The first three laws, based on principles of reduction, organization and efficiency, form the foundation for increasingly complex and self-referential concepts like the importance of context and the potential for failure in simplification (by the end of the book, Maeda is chiding himself for using too many acronyms). Combined with trust and emotional engagement (laws 7 and 8), Maeda demonstrates how complex systems can become downright lovable: Maeda recalls 'the Tamagocchi craze of the late 1990s... showed that anyone could fall in love with a small electronic keychain,' drawing a corollary to the almighty iPod (an iconic example referred to throughout). Emphasizing the delicate balance-work involved in simplifying the complex, Maeda admits the process isn't easy, and that his ten laws don't necessarily provide all the answers-in numerous places, he directs readers to the web site where his theories continue to develop. Despite that, this slim book feels complete in itself; not only will it stimulate ideas, it will keep readers thumbing back for a second and third look at Maeda's deceptively simple advice." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Maeda's Laws and Keys have an obvious practical application in everyday running of a busy life (and desktop); they also have the potential to translate into a productive methodology for any craft or design practice....A very humble, enlightened and caring human, John's written a little bible."
"Review" by , "Technology and life seem to be getting more complicated, yet two great success stories, Google and the iPod, both provide the antidote of simplicity. In The Laws of Simplicity, John Maeda uses humble prose to provide an accessible guide, business and life, observing the principle: 'Simplicity equals sanity.'"
"Review" by , "'Keep it simple, Stupid' is an old piece of advice, so much so that it's often abbreviated as the 'KISS principle.' But it's advice that's often ignored, and MIT Professor John Maeda aims to change that....Designers and marketers will find Maeda's book both interesting and useful."
"Review" by , "Finally, a book about simplicity that is not too academic to read....At the book's heart is the Shinto belief in animism, the spirit in all objects. Nicholas Negroponte, one of Maeda's mentors, once told him to become a lightbulb, not a laser beam. This he has done; all this and more."
"Synopsis" by , Ten laws of simplicity for business, technology, and design that teach us how to need less but get more.
"Synopsis" by , andlt;Pandgt;Ten laws of simplicity for business, technology, and design that teach us how to need less but get more.andlt;/Pandgt;
"Synopsis" by , andlt;Pandgt;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: Accept the fact that 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."andlt;/Pandgt;
"Synopsis" by , 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: Accept the fact that 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."
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