Engineering & Transportation
The Laws of Simplicity (Simplicity and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $21.95
  • Save: $9.22 (42%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Cover has crinkling and light wear on top of spine and on a few very small corners, a very small puncture on front, a few deep dimples, and a few light scuff marks. Inside is pristine!
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Laws of Simplicity (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life) Hardcover – August 21, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0262134729 ISBN-10: 0262134721 Edition: Third Impression

Buy New
Price: $12.73
68 New from $8.70 81 Used from $2.94 1 Collectible from $23.95
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$12.73
$8.70 $2.96
Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Frequently Bought Together

The Laws of Simplicity (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life) + Redesigning Leadership (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life)
Price for both: $24.63

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

$25 Amazon.com Gift Card
Receive a $25 Amazon.com Gift Card for Fine Art Purchases of $100 or more. Restrictions apply, see offer for details.

Product Details

  • Series: Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life
  • Hardcover: 117 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; Third Impression edition (August 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262134721
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262134729
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this breezy treatise, graphic designer and computer scientist Maeda proposes ten laws for simplifying complex systems in business and life-but mostly in product design. Maeda's upbeat explanations usefully break down the power of less-fewer features, fewer buttons and fewer distractions-while providing practical strategies for harnessing that power, such as SHE: "Shrink, Hide, and Embody." The first three laws, based on principles of reduction, organization and efficiency, form the foundation for increasingly complex and self-referential concepts like the importance of context and the potential for failure in simplification (by the end of the book, Maeda is chiding himself for using too many acronyms). Combined with trust and emotional engagement (laws 7 and 8), Maeda demonstrates how complex systems can become downright lovable: Maeda recalls "the Tamagocchi craze of the late 1990s... showed that anyone could fall in love with a small electronic keychain," drawing a corollary to the almighty iPod (an iconic example referred to throughout). Emphasizing the delicate balance-work involved in simplifying the complex, Maeda admits the process isn't easy, and that his ten laws don't necessarily provide all the answers-in numerous places, he directs readers to the web site where his theories continue to develop. Despite that, this slim book feels complete in itself; not only will it stimulate ideas, it will keep readers thumbing back for a second and third look at Maeda's deceptively simple advice.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"If brevity is the soul of wit, simplicity is the soul of design. John Maeda uses the concept of simplicity to get at the nature of human thought and perception while drawing out tangible applications for business, technology, and life in general. *The Laws of Simplicity* is thoroughly optimistic, entertaining, and erudite, just as you would expect from Maeda. It is also the most compelling one hundred pages of design writing I have read this year." -- Rob Forbes, Founder, Design Within Reach



" Abstract recommends this book particularly to marketing people, product designers and technical writers." -- GetAbstract



"FINALLY, a book about simplicity that is not too academic to read.... At the book's heart is the Shinto belief in animism, the spirit in all objects. Nicholas Negroponte, one of Maeda's mentors, once told him to become a lightbulb, not a laser beam. This he has done; all this and more." -- Susan Salter Reynolds, The LA Times



"I planned to skim/sample John Maeda's book, then decide to endorse it -- or not. I quickly found myself mesmerized -- and thence the only issue was deciding what were the strongest words I could muster in support of The Laws of Simplicity. The book is important; and Maeda has made an absurdly complex subject -- simplicity -- approachable and usable. Bravo! I hope the people who design the products I'll acquire in the next ten years take this book to heart." -- Tom Peters



"John Maeda's new book, The Laws of Simplicity, is simply terrific. It's exactly 100 pages, the illustrations are brilliant and the 10 Laws of Simplicity (plus Three Keys) are a canon to design one's entire life, much less specific products, services or business models. The subtitle is: Design, Technology, Business, Life." -- Bruce Nussbaum, BusinessWeek's blog "NussbaumOnDesign"



"Keep it simple, Stupid" is an old piece of advice, so much so that it's often abbreviated as the "KISS principle." But it's advice that's often ignored, and MIT Professor John Maeda aims to change that.... Designers and marketers will find Maeda's book both interesting and useful...." -- New York Post



"Maeda's Laws and Keys have an obvious practical application in everyday running of a busy life (and desktop); they also have the potential to translate into a productive methodology for any craft or design practice.... A very humble, enlightened and caring human, John's written a little bible." -- Liz Farrelly, Crafts Magazine



"Maeda's upbeat explanations usefully break down the power of less-fewer features, fewer buttons and fewer distractions-while providing practical strategies for harnessing that power.... Emphasizing the delicate balance-work involved in simplifying the complex, Maeda admits the process isn't easy, and that his ten laws don't necessarily provide all the answers-in numerous places, he directs readers to the web site where his theories continue to develop. Despite that, this slim book feels complete in itself; not only will it stimulate ideas, it will keep readers thumbing back for a second and third look at Maeda's deceptively simple advice." -- Publishers Weekly



"Technology and life seem to be getting more complicated, yet two great success stories, Google and the iPod, both provide the antidote of simplicity. In The Laws of Simplicity, John Maeda uses humble prose to provide an accessible guide, business and life, observing the principle: 'Simplicity equals sanity.'" -- David Smith, The Observer



"I planned to skim/sample John Maeda's book, then decide to endorse it -- or not. I quickly found myself mesmerized -- and thence the only issue was deciding what were the strongest words I could muster in support of *The Laws of Simplicity*. The book is important; and Maeda has made an absurdly complex subject -- simplicity -- approachable and usable. Bravo! I hope the people who design the products I'll acquire in the next ten years take this book to heart." -- Tom Peters


Important Information

Ingredients
Example Ingredients

Directions
Example Directions

More About the Author

Graphic designer, visual artist, and computer scientist John Maeda is President of the Rhode Island School of Design and founder of the SIMPLICITY Consortium at the MIT Media Lab. His work has been exhibited in Tokyo, New York, London, and Paris and is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. He is the recipient of many awards, including the Smithsonian Institution National Design Award in the United States, the Raymond Loewy Foundation Prize in Germany, and the Mainichi Design Prize in Japan.

Customer Reviews

Has the feel of a book you can read in one sitting.
Gerald M. Knoll
John Maeda's Laws of Simplicity shows us that sophistication and complexity are very different things.
P. Meirs
Perhaps the author was fixated on producing a short 100 page book.
Amrit Tiwana

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

185 of 205 people found the following review helpful By Antonio Vives on September 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The goal of the book is extremely worthwhile: to promote simplicity. It tries to do so in a small book, about 100 pages in small sized pages. Unfortunately it fails, it does not use it own lessons and presents a complicated description of "Simplicity". In order to simplify, it (ab)uses acronyms that do not elicit the thoughts that are intended. For instance, take SHE (Simplify, Hide, Embody). Using the word SHE is hard to turn your mind to "Simplify, Hide, Embody". Then there is BRAIN (Basics, Repeat, Avoid, Inspire, Never) and SLIP (Sort, Label, Integrate, Prioritize). Simple? To present the ideas, Maeda uses a random collection of recollections, of anecdotes, of circumstantial evidence, organized around ten laws, to illustrate the points it wants to make. As you read, you can find another anecdote from your own life, another experience that can contradict his conclusion. Not all is negative, there are some gems that make the reading worthwhile. For instance, law 10, or "the one": "Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful". Imagine if presentations in meetings, conversations or written reports were to keep this law, how more productive our lives would be. This is my simplified review!
6 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By djac on August 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found the laws themselves to be thought provoking; my mind immediately engaged the task of relating the laws to my own work. While the laws themselves are a delicious reduction the text itself is just the opposite. With such a dogmatic title strapped to a compact book I expected Maeda to directly confront on the topic of simplicity in a brief yet concrete manner (similar to how William Strunk hits the target dead on with The Elements of Style). Instead Maeda only lightly probes "simplicity" with lots of personal anecdotes, abstract thoughts and the iPod (for most examples). The book is more of a meditation on the topic than a "law" book.

I highly recommend reviewing the laws at John Maeda's site: [...] and consider doing your own meditations. Read the book only if you're interested in viewing the cogs turning in the mind of Maeda without them producing the condensed sweetness you might expect in such a compact tome.

(The hardcover book itself is nicely designed, printed and bound for those of you interested in good quality book and a favorable price.)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
54 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Amrit Tiwana on November 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I agree with the other reviewer: The dust jacket of this book is a very creative design. The content however is disappointing. The ideas (read: bullet point-level detail) that Maeda begins to talk about show promise. However, he never describes them in sufficient detail for the reader to know what was going on inside his head. The goal of the book is worthy: To boil down simplicity to a few key law-like generalizations. But the book itself does not demonstrate that. Instead, the book is a good example of how too much simplicity can also be undesirable. Perhaps the author was fixated on producing a short 100 page book. Perhaps he assumed too much prior knowledge of his typical readers (or perhaps assumed familiarity with his papers)? The book reminds me of the quote by some famous person (Einstien, I think): Make things just as simple as they need to be, but not simpler." This pretty book is an example of the truth in that statement. I hope that a future book by this author will leave where this one abruptly left off. If you must buy it, borrow it from your library first.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Glenn Meyer on January 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm pretty fussy when it comes to purchasing books from Amazon. I have two conditions before purchasing any books. 1) It has to have a rating of more than 4 stars, 2) It cannot have a rating of 1. (Shows you the influential power of online word of mouth recommendation, 90% of consumers will buy based on recommendations from family and friends. This number does down to 70% for recommendations from strangers, which in my opinion is still high) However, since this was a required reading for my digital marketing class, " I drank the kool-aid".

Having read other books written by Brian Solis, Larry Webber, Luke Williams and Chuck Martin in the last semester, I was expecting something amazing from John Maeda in "The Laws of Simplicity", especially since he is a Professor at MIT. Despite the weak reviews online from Amazon, I read the book with an open mind. I was even excited when I received it in the mail as the book was brilliantly designed. But as the old saying goes, "DO NOT JUDGE A BOOK BY IT'S COVER". Sad to say, I was disappointed with the book. The goal of the book is extremely worthwhile: to promote simplicity. It tries to do so in a small book, about 100 pages in small sized pages. However it is a major EPIC FAIL. Let me quickly take you through what I felt for each chapter.

Chapter 1 + 2: Reduce + Organize
Maeda takes you through the idea of SHE and how that by reducing and organizing the buttons on the Ipod will lead to success. While this chapter may be one of the better chapters, I personally feel it is another way of describing disruptive innovation. Innovation is creating products that make our life easier. Think of the the iPhone with its touch screen technology and its latest function Siri. Cars like Audi, Mercedes and BMW, start up with push of a button.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews