Sep 26, 2011

Book review - Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda

Laws of Simplicity is one of the books I had heard a lot of beforehand. It had become a sort of a trend book in our office for making many things simpler and clearer. It was referred in so many different occasions, that I wasn't really sure what to expect. Book is from John Maeda, who is designer, artist and educator. Still the book isn't only about design, but much more.

Mr. Maeda takes the ambitious mission of explaining simplicity in the book. I've always thought that simplicity is something some people just seem to understand, and others just don't. It's kind of like an eye for something. John Maeda has taken this task to gather many different ways (or laws as he calls) simplicity appears. It's a challenging task, but he has done it really well.

Mr. Maeda introduces in simple way the usual forms of simplicity and gives small introduction how people can try to learn to understand these forms of simplicity. In the book he explains these laws and gives some ways for all of us to learn to build simpler things. It doesn't really matter what you are building, these laws are trying to be universal to suit from SW business to house building.

This might be the first book, that I've thought to be too short. I think Mr. Maeda has relied too much on his first law of Reduce and shortened the book too much. I would have really liked to get some more insights of some of the laws presented in the book. Few more good examples would have made a difference on understanding some key aspects of this book. Even though I think most of the books are bit too long, maybe in this case few more chapter would have a made difference. It's a matter of taste, like simplicity.

This book is not only for designers. This is a good book for almost everyone. Everywhere in the world there are things, products or services which are too complex. In addition the book is fast and fun to read, so it won't take lot of time to read it trough. Still somehow I feel, I might go and read the book again someday. It's good to remind remind yourself on the basics of simplicity once in a while.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

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