The Two Simplicity Paths

Fri, May 18, 2007

Simplicity Rules

Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful. In that definition are the two Simplicity Paths: tearing down and building up.

Tear down

Trim to the barest essentials. Look around at what isn’t needed and tear it out. Reduce.

Simplicity Path One: Tear down

Build up

Start from the core and add on only what you need. Organize, so you know what is essential at this moment.

Simplicity Path Two: Build up

Tear down and Build up

Most (all?) of the time, you’ll need both paths, working together. Simplicity is a give-and-take. As you remove what you don’t need, add back the meaningful stuff.

Simplicity Paths: Tear down and Build up

The core is my favorite part. It’s like a wall awaiting paint. I push myself hardest to tear down, because only then can I experience the project from the core, building out.

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Tom Watson Says:

    Agreed. I like the nice info graphics that you made that really bring the point front and center.

  2. Jenny Says:

    What’s an example of when this has worked for you?

  3. Adam Says:

    Thanks, Tom.

    I think I use these two paths every day. In the planning stages of projects, it avoids feature creep if I can first lay out the minimum requirements to make something work.

    When it comes to implementation, I also use it to first create a basic version, before layering on features. Degradable Javascript is a good example of getting to the core (the non-JS version), then layering more interaction on top of that.

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