Nov5

Simplicity as a Journey

Why do we assume that simple is good?  Because with physical products, we have to feel we can dominate them.  As you bring order to complexity, you find a way to make the product defer to you.  Simplicity isn’t just a visual style.  It’s not just minimalism or the absence of clutter.  It involves digging through the depth of complexity.  To be truly simple, you have to go really deep.  For example, to have no screws on something, you can end up having a product that is so convoluted and so complex.  The better way is to go deeper with the simplicity, to understand everything about it and how it’s manufactured.  You have to deeply understand the essence of a product in order to be able to get rid of the parts that are not essential.

Jony Ives, Apple’s Industrial Designer
as quoted in “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson (343)