Designing Simplicity

  • Authors
  • Hartmut Obendorf

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

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Designing for an Age of Complexity

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Hartmut Obendorf
      Pages 3-18
  3. Defining Minimalism

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 19-19
    2. Hartmut Obendorf
      Pages 65-78
  4. Rethinking Minimalism

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Hartmut Obendorf
      Pages 81-95
    3. Hartmut Obendorf
      Pages 97-121
  5. Applying Minimalism

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 123-123
    2. Hartmut Obendorf
      Pages 125-237
    3. Hartmut Obendorf
      Pages 239-295
  6. Reflections on Minimalism

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 297-297
    2. Hartmut Obendorf
      Pages 299-319
    3. Hartmut Obendorf
      Pages 321-328
    4. Hartmut Obendorf
      Pages 329-331
    5. Hartmut Obendorf
      Pages 333-334
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 335-337

About this book


In this age of complexity, simple, powerful systems are an ideal of interaction design. This book introduces minimalism and helps to make sense of reduction, and in doing so unravels some of the mysteries of simplicity. Minimalism becomes an essential tool to help visualise the simple, and to unveil and instantiate patterns for designing simplicity.

Divided into five parts, the first delivers an introduction to the concept of minimalism and overviews the main themes covered in the book; Part two retraces the history of minimalism in art and music illustrating the breadth of concepts underlying works characterized as minimal, and showing the recurrence of these attributes in different disciplines. Four kinds of minimalism for interaction design are defined. The third part connects the concepts developed in the book to current thinking in HCI, examining norms, rules and guidelines. In part four, the simplicity of real designs is examined from a minimal perspective, and tools for different forms of reduction in design are discussed. The final section returns to more theoretical discussions of the notions of minimalism, re-evaluating the product and process threads for the changes brought about for the understanding of minimalism and the relation of aesthetics and minimalism in design. The book concludes with a look at issues and limitations that lie unanswered, and some of their possible resolutions.


Design Design of Interactive Systems Interaction Minimalism Simplicity human-computer interaction (HCI) interaction design interactive system

Bibliographic information