Problem #1: We tend to overcomplicatethings and make more work for ourselves Problem #2: Even worse, we tend to overcomplicate things and make more work for others
Solution #1: Adopting an Agile MethodologySolution #2: Addressing Complexity Head On
Exercise #1 - BrainstormName some examples of good, wrong, orneeded simplifications you have noticed lately... ✔ Business ✔ Software ✔ Consumer Products ✔ Elsewhere
Exercise #2 - AnalyzeNow, can you explain why they were, are, or would be simplifications?[If you cant, maybe its because you dont have a sufficient vocabulary for discussing simplicity.]
Exercise #3:Why Do People Resist Simplification Efforts?
For one, humans are natural builders andcreators, always looking to add, not so much tosubtract (except out of spite). People often say,“there ought to be a law against that.” Peoplerarely say, “we dont need that law anymore.”Also, humans tend to be myopic; to fixate onlywhat whats right in front of them.And again, we are not used to talking aboutsimplicity. Subtleties of simplicity are not in ourvocabulary.
A candidate vocabulary... The Laws of Simplicity by John MaedaCurrently, President of RhodeIsland School of Design.Previously, a Professor at MITat the time of writing the book(2005/2006).Just 100 pages. More atlawsofsimplicity.com
Maedas Ten Laws1. Reduce 9. Failure2. Organize 10. The One3. Time4. Learn Plus 3 essays on key5. Differences technologies...6. Context 1. Away 2. Open7. Emotion 3. Power8. Trust
1. ReduceThe simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction. SHE = Shrink, Hide, Embody
Given a prioritized backlog of user stories andlimited resources for developing it, whats the best way to simplify the list?Passive Reduction Thoughtful Reduction1. XXXXXXXX 1. XXXXXXIXX2. XXXXX 2. XXXXIX3. XX 3. XX4. XXXXXX 4. XXXXIXX5. XXXX 5. XXXX-------------- 6. XXIXXXXXXX6. XXXXXXXXX 7. X7. X 8. XXIXXX8. XXXXX
2. OrganizeOrganization makes a system of many appear fewer. SLIP = Sort, Label, Integrate, Prioritize(cf. CVA = Commonality/Variability Analysis)
“The best designers in the world squint whenthey look at something. They squint to see theforest from the trees–to find the right balance. Squint at the world. You will see more, by seeing less.”
● Express lanes.● Next available window.● Making appointments●Finish booting up in the background whileuser logs in.●If you cannot make the wait shorter, thenmake it more tolerable.
4. Learn Knowledge makes everything simpler.“Knowledge is comfort, and comfort lies at the heart of simplicity.”
Always be learning. “In the martial art ofKarate, for instance, the symbol of pride for ablack belt is to wear it long enough such that the die fades to white as to symbolize returning to the beginner state.”
Day in the Life of a Developer...Workflow better be simple: Logging time, defining work, collaborating onrequirements/designs, committing changes, deploying buildsThe work at hand can be complicated: Solving gnarly problems, interfacing withhardware and 3rd party APIs, performance tuning.
6. Context What lies in the periphery of simplicity is definitely not peripheral. “The sixth Law emphasizes the importance of what might become lost during the design process. That which appears to be of immediate relevance may not be nearly asimportant compared to everything else around. Our goal is to achieve a kind of enlightened shallowness.”
“Complexity implies the feeling of being lost;simplicity implies the feeling of being found.”
7. Emotion More emotions are better than less.“While great art makes you wonder, great design makes things clear.”
“Aichaku (ahy-chaw-koo) is the Japanese termfor the sense of attachment one can feel for an artifact. When written by its two kanjicharacters, you can see that the first character means love and the second one means fit. Love-fit describes a deeper kind of emotional attachment that a person can feel for an object. It is a kind of symiotic love for an object that deserves affection not for what it does, but for what it is.”
8. Trust In simplicity we trust.How much do you How much does need to know the system about a system? know about you?
● One-click shopping● Brand name consistency●The freedom of being able to Undochanges (Gift receipts are a form of undo)● Googles “Im feeling lucky” button.
9. FailureSome things can never be made simple.
10. The OneSimplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.
Key Technology #1. AwayMore appears like less by simply moving it far, far away.