Too Simple?

Yesterday I got to hear John Maeda speak at Sabre as part of the Wundermind series of speakers. I’ve read John’s book (The Laws of Simplicity), and really enjoyed it. He gave a great presentation – it’s rare to hear someone who really gets both technology and design (and he’s met Paul Rand!).

So when is simple, too simple? A great quote near the beginning of John’s book reads: “Imagine a world in which software companies simplified their programs every year by shipping with 10% fewer features at 10% higher cost due to the expense of simplification.” Maeda uses the iPod as an example of a product that has succeeded with this model. I also see this in the iPhone. As a new iPhone owner, I’ve been able to discover some great ways Apple’s removed features, without diminishing the experience, and simplified the iPhone UI.

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