Chapter 41. Simplicity Counts

"Without conscious, sustained effort focused on simplicity, the opposite—increased complexity—is almost certain to manifest itself."

Simplicity is a beautiful word that can define a person, place, or thing. Yet the beauty of simplicity is, as the saying goes, in the eye of the beholder. What seems simple to one person might seem complex to another. The mere mention of simplicity has the potential to create a sense of relief and freedom in this increasingly complicated world; this is reason enough to believe that simplicity counts.

Simplicity and complexity are at the extreme opposite ends of life's spectrum. In fact, all other extremes are just manifestations of these two qualities. Complexity—whether in product design, decision-making, or any daily function—is to be avoided at all costs. Complexity is the curse of the digital age; it is the intellectual smog that smothers clear thought and directs negative benefits on worker productivity, customer delight, and corporate profitability.

On the other hand, simplicity is the property, condition, or quality of being simple or uncombined. It often denotes beauty, elegance, sophistication, purity, and clarity. Simplicity is a virtue worth striving for, but so often it seems all too hard, if indeed we have time to think about it at all. And that's where the problem starts, for simplicity doesn't just happen. In fact, without conscious, sustained effort focused on simplicity, the opposite—increased complexity—is ...

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