Very interesting, but short,and sometimes a bit vague for me,
This review is from: The Laws of Simplicity (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life) (Hardcover)
This is a short and interesting read at around 100 pages. John Maeda has an easy to understand writing style, and does not clutter up the book with unnecessary examples, or dense analysis.
The book starts off well. I like law 2 (Organise), which describes how to make things simpler by organising things (using the acronym SLIP- sort, label, integrate, prioritise). Law 4 on learning and teaching I also found useful.
However, I felt the book did become a bit vague and philosophical after the first half, requiring you to think about the abstract concepts of some of the laws and their application. I am not sure that I agree that some of the concepts he has as laws of simplicity, such as emotion or trust, have anything to do with simplicity in itself, rather they are perhaps extra qualities that enhance and amplify simplicity.
I felt the second half of the book was a bit zen-like, where you have to give thought to the law being described and how you will apply it in practice e.g. I thought how do I add 'trust' and 'emotion' to a document I am designing.
Probably the book's best use is when in the process of designing something (e.g.a product or service).
To me, this book does also cover 'laws' that could be useful in my personal life and at work, regarding organising and learning, so I appreciate it for that reason.