2006  July 23

Law 7: Emotion

More emotions are better than less.

> Excerpted from Page 1 of my book, The Laws of Simplicity

Simplicity can be considered ugly. Take my mother who absolutely despises anything of neutral color or minimalist form. She wants neon flowers, bejeweled frogs, and other decorative essentials. When it comes to aesthetics, she’s all about the "bling."
     From a rational perspective, simplicity makes good economic sense. Simple objects are easier and less expensive to produce, and those savings can be translated directly to the consumer with desirable low prices. As evidenced by the extremely affordable line of simple products from furniture retailer Ikea, simplicity benefits the frugal shopper. However, there are some people, like my mother, who would say that simplicity is not only cheap, but would add that it looks cheap as well. A strong sense of self expression belies all of us humans, and many such decisions we make are not driven by logic alone.
     The seventh Law is not for everyone—there will always be the die-hard Modernists who refuse any object that is not white or black, or else with clear or mirrored surfaces. My mother finds the iPod entirely unattractive. And while the older generation isn't Apple's targeted market (for the moment, at least), I am still the dutiful son I was raised to be, and so I find the seventh Law a necessary component in the simplicity toolbox. More emotions are better than less. When emotions are considered above everything else, don't be afraid to add more ornament or layers of meaning.

 

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Copyright 2005 - 2014, John Maeda