A letter to designers and writers -
Good design is simple.
Good design is elegant and nice.
The art of great design is simple, elegant and nice, together.
Design starts with a simple idea, to meet a challenge,
to find a solution, make something, make a new creation
But it is so hard to go straight from simple idea to simple solution.
Complexity, confusion and 'mind in a muddle' get in the way.
The design and creative process seems to always need an obligatory complex phase,
which is refined and worked over, sometimes painfully.
It would be so nice to avoid this, but few people can do it.
But perhaps the pithy, elegant, nice, simple final product,
is all the better for having to draft,
refine and draft, and refine, doing it over and over again.
Prototypes also help to transform complexity to simple
to turn and abstract idea to real world reality,
to turn ugly and crude shape and form to nice and elegant.
Writing computer programs helps designers and writers learn refinement.
A program may work very well at the start, but more and more fixes
and branches have to be plugged in to cover the growing exceptions.
The IFs, WHENs and ORs eventually clog the program.
A good programmer sees this happening and realizes how it slows and ruins the program.
A good programmer knows its time to start again from scratch, with lessons learnt.
The experience is well worthwhile, for better efficiency and simplicity.
Lazy buzzwords and twaddle confuse the writing process.
Writers drag in big fat words that seem to fit the bill, but don't,
Trendy, long complex words, with multi-thread meanings, just confuses things.
But writers who struggle to express what they want to say,
in a simple and easy way, are often just simply confused.
Their struggle with expression shows that they don't really
understand what they are trying to say.
Garnering clearer thoughts makes simple lucid expression
easier and clearer in the long run.
Many writers start with big complex words and long sentences,
But good writers edit and edit, and edit again:
to make sentences shorter and powerful, just one idea at a time;
to choose shorter better words with concise and precise meanings.
Short, simple words, in short pithy and concise sentences
are lucid and mighty powerful.
Elegant, simple, nice is the art of good design.