Look at this book. Just look at it.
When I’m on the fence about a book, the beautifulness of it is usually the deciding factor on whether or not to buy. In this case, it was a no-brainer. Also it was written by John Maeda, who is a crazy combination of scientist/mathematician/designer and has some serious academic cred.
“The best designers in the world all squint when they look at something. They squint to see the forest from the tree – to find the right balance. Squint at the world. You will see more, by seeing less.”
This book looks small at first, but it packs a big punch. It’s a great read for a plane ride or a trip to the beach.
“Knowledge is comfort, and comfort lies at the heart of simplicity.”
Maeda divides simplicity into ten laws, and then discusses each law in detail. It’s the kind of stuff that you innately know, but maybe haven’t actually been able to put into words before. Once you’re aware of these laws you begin to see them in practice everywhere – iPods, sports, websites – and it makes it easier to understand why, as designers, we gravitate towards certain designs and cringe at the site of others.
Ten laws to follow may seem ironically complicated for a book on simplicity, but as Maeda states in law nine:
“Some things can never be made simple.”