Antoine de Saint-Exupery, speaking about aircraft design, said "A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." In aircraft design, weight matters, to fly faster and more easily, light weight is essential. This echoes the second of Bruce Lee’s ideas in my previous post, “It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.” Both these points are important concepts for any designer to understand.
I just wrapped up teaching my 4 evening, 12 hour web designing class with Stillwater Community Education. The temptation for new designers is to try to emulate something cool or flashy that they have seen on another web site. Most of the time the underlying code is beyond the scope of the class, and certainly beyond the reach of the new web designer. These effects rarely help to improve the sites overall functionality, navigability, or usefulness, and often inhibits the ability of the search engines to properly page rank the site.
This is so true of other things we see in our daily lives. Gadgets so feature laden that half of the features are never used or understood by the owner. Technical wonders that are so complicated that at most people just give up on it.
So my point – the path to individual serenity is to simplify, to prune away, to remove until you are down to the essential core of what makes you who you are and life what you want it to be. I really wish I was any good at taking this advice. Working on it, though.Share