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Publisher's 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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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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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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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Many Insights

many of the rules are going to be one that I revisit over and over. the ending on insecurities is also profound.

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Great book, great audio.

I would recommend this book for anyone interested in design. From graphic design to product design, the laws presented in this book are very applicable.

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A great book to read twice.

This was a great book that had some really good tips but, I thought that, in the beginning it went against its title. Overall, it was a worthy read/buy, and I would read it/listen to it a second time. Great book!

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  • Aram
  • Astoria, NY, United States
  • 07-30-12

You may want to lower your expectations

I tried this book in Korean-translarted version first (yes, I'm Korean). Finishing this book within very short amount of time got me curious about the original version: there are some contexts that made me doubtful whether the translation was perfect especially for those acronyms that Maeda uses quite often in this book.
The translation might have been slightly rough to convey certain meanings, contexts well but after listening to this audiobook, but I was wrong to blame the translation as main reason I found this book was too 'simple.' for me.
I'm a designer but somehow I didn't pick up this book to feed my design perspective. Rather, I wanted to learn about the 'laws' in general or mundane things such as mindset we can apply to (for example,) declutter/unstuff our livings, environment.
Back to the point that i'm trying to make here as I titled this review - lower your expectation, the book is worthwhile? yes. was I able to find some concrete answers around the word 'simplicity'? no. Maybe my expectation towards simplicity was too high.

3 of 8 people found this review helpful

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sweet brief and interesting.

lack of discourse depth was boh a feature and a bug. I plan to listen multiple times because the writing is so potent.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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بكل بساطة...

البساطة تساوي التعقل، ١٠ قوانين لتحقيق التوازن بين البساطة والتعقيد.
مفهوم “تحسين” لايعني دائما أن نضيف شيئا جديدا.
ليس من الضروري إضافة أمور جديدة لمجرد أننا نستطيع ذلك، في بعض الأحيان الأقل هو الأفضل.
لانعني بالبساطة أن نقلل دائما بل أن نعمل على المعقول حتى لادفع أكثر في أمور لانحتاجها.
البساطة هي إلغاء ماهو واضح، وإضافة ماهو ذا معنى.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful