Received an Honorable Mention in the Communication and Cultural Studies category of the 2005 Professional/Scholarly Publishing Annual Awards Competition presented by the Association of American Publishers, Inc.
Finally, we are learning that simplicity equals sanity. We’re rebelling against technology that’s too complicated, DVD players with too many menus, and software accompanied by 75-megabyte “read me” manuals. But sometimes we find ourselves caught up in the simplicity paradox: we want something that’s simple and easy to use, but also does all the complex things we might ever want it to do. In The Laws of Simplicity, Maeda offers ten laws for balancing simplicity and complexity in business, technology, and design—guidelines for needing less and actually getting more.
Maeda a professor in MIT’s Media Lab and a world-renowned graphic designer—explores the question of how we can redefine the notion of “improved” so that it doesn’t always mean something more, something added on.
We’re filling up the world with technology and devices, but we’ve lost sight of an important question: What is this stuff for? What value does it add to our lives? So asks author John Thackara in his new book, In the Bubble: Designing for a Complex World.
These are tough questions for the pushers of technology to answer. Our economic system is centered on technology, so it would be no small matter if “tech” ceased to be an end-in-itself in our daily lives.
Technology is not going to go away, but the time to discuss the end it will serve is before we deploy it, not after. We need to ask what purpose will be served by the broadband communications, smart materials, wearable computing, and connected appliances that we’re unleashing upon the world. We need to ask what impact all this stuff will have on our daily lives. Who will look after it, and how?