This latest Director’s Commentary on metacool is truly meta: it’s a designer being interviewed about what it means to design with simplicity in mind. In this simply awesome interview, NPR’s Ira Flatow talks to Professor John Maeda about The Laws of Simplicity.
I truly appreciate any opportunity I get to listen to Professor Maeda talk about his approach to the process of designing things. My favorite law of simplicty is Law 5: Differences. This law can be stated as follows:
Actually, that’s a big, fat lie on my part. If I put on my professional hat, then my favorite law of simplicity is actually Law 7: Emotion, which is:
If you decide to take a listen to Maeda’s interview, you’ll hear him talk about why desirability can make even a complex, cultish device such as the iPhone seem simple. Wanting something makes it easier to use. Think about that one next time you’re dealing with the Internal Revenue Service. I’m a big believer in starting and ending with desirability when it comes to designing for success in the marketplace, so you can see why I like Law 7.
By the way, he wrote a wonderful book about the subject, too. I highly recommend it.