The Laws of Simplicity for Software Design

The whole idea of software development is to create the Right Requirements not just any requirement.

John Maeda outlines ten ways to reduce complexity in his book The Laws of Simplicity.   While he outlines ten ways to reduce the complexity of any system or product,  the most important to software development is to reduce and learn.  The book is a must read for any software developer that wants to create Right Requirements.

Reduce – The simplicity way to simplicity is through thoughtful reduction. One reason software applications are so difficult to use is due to the fact there is too much functionality.  In other words,  the same result could have been achieved with less functionality.

Software developers need to constantly ask the questions, “how simple can it be made?” and “how complex does it have to be?”  It is the difference between “wow” and “whoa.” To often the software developer takes the shock and awe approach to the amount of functionality delivered.  They does this in hopes of “impressing” and overwhelming with confusing complexity.

Learn – Knowledge makes everything simpler. This is related to the law of reduction.  To often a lot of functionality is created since little is known about the actual business problem.  Functionality is created in hopes of accidently creating needed functionality.  This causes software applications to be bloated and confusing.

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Published in: on June 9, 2009 at 08:20  Leave a Comment  
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