Minimalism pp 97-121 | Cite as

Minimalism, Simplicity and Rules of Design

  • Hartmut Obendorf
Part of the Human-Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)

This chapter examines rules for interaction design —the results of many years’ experience from distinguished practitioners—and discusses them in terms of minimalism. The objective of this discussion is to find out whether “simplicity is not enough”, whether minimalism is helpful in understanding design rules and differentiating between different forms of simplicity that are confounded in the literature.

The visual simplicity of interfaces is often directly connected to their ease of use—it is assumed that by simplifying the impression of the interface, the usability would increase. Bruce Tognazzini (1992) drastically illustrates the need for simplicity: “Designers learn in 6 months, users have to learn the same in 6 minutes.” He proposes visual simplicity as a means of helping the user: “In the Macintosh, we try to be as sparing of words and extra visual clutter whenever possible” (ibid.). However, “create visual simplicity” could not be called exact instructions, “sometimes we all...


Access Structure Interface Design Interface Element Structural Minimalism Everyday Thing 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hartmut Obendorf
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HamburgGermany

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