am 4. Juni 2011
I was visiting the MIT bookshop and saw a staple of these books. I regonized that John Maeda is a MIT professor, scanned the table of content and decided to buy the book. I did not know that Prof. Maeda is a designer and therefore I expected an engineer talking about system engineering for complex technical systems.
I like the book title "Simplicity" instead of possible other titles for the same book like "Management of Complexity".
I like the easy to read style of the book - a book about simplicity should not be too complex. I also like the auto-biographic components - the anecdotes of his live.
I also like books which do not tell you how to solve your (complex) problems but let you think by your own and just trigger your own thoughts in your brain. The book is definitively no book which tells you how to do it, but animates your own creativity. It starts more concrete at the beginning and gets more and more abstract towards the end of the book. In Chapter "Law 9: Failure" the author criticises his own book and shows what is not perfect and could be improved.
All in all a very unconventional book, completely different from what I was expecting, but nevertheless I liked to read it (and I liked my own thought during reading it). The book is more a piece of art than a book with classical content.
If I had time for it, the book would animate me to write the engineering book which I expected when I bought it. I am sure you could write an excellent engineering book in the field of management of complexity with the same chapter titles:
Law 1: Reduce
Law 2: Organize
Law 3: Time
Law 4: Learn
Law 5: Differences
Law 6: Context
Law 7: Emotion
Law 8: Trust
Law 9: Failure
Law 10: The one
(In this new engineering book, the chapters 7 and 8 would be the most difficult but maybe most interesting.)
am 30. Januar 2008
I have a lot of respect for John Maeda's work, but not for this one. This one is just superficial ramblings.
It's actually a very good example how NOT to deal with the subject matter - the use of the completely meaningless acronyms is simply confusing and muddles the point. There are some very good books on simplicity in industrial design, and I guess most will be more worthwile than this.
Maeda keeps coming back to the iPod to make some shallow remarks about who in his family understood the interface and who didn't. It would be much more interesting to look at how that design has evolved from the ideals of Dieter Rams of Braun, to Johnny Ive of Apple.
Nothing like that happens here; inflated anecdotes replace what should have been insights, and where you expect a meaningful thought you find a limp joke.
I learned nothing from this book.
am 15. Dezember 2009
Die englische Ausgabe ist schöner gestaltet und liest sich viel angenehmer! Auch mit mittelmäßigen Englischkenntnissen sollten die geneigten Leser besser auf diese Originalausgabe zurückgreifen. Dann ist das Buch bestens geeignet, zum analysieren der eigenen Arbeit oder Maedas Lieblingsbeispiel, dem iPod, anzuregen. Ein hübsches Standardwerk mit goldenen Regeln zum lesen in der Badewanne oder für Gestaltungsfremde. Definitiv kein Handwerkszeug für umfangreiches Gedankenwerk.
am 7. November 2007
balancing simplicity and complexity is the challenge we all encounter in design, business, technology and life. john gives us ten simple laws to master that challenge, where the last law encompasses all others.
law no.10, which he calls 'the one', says: "simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful."
and he is right, we could live with that single law. in all our aspects of live. but we would have to practice a lot to achieve excellence in that.
it's a goal worth trying to reach. let's act! don't talk!