Friday, July 28, 2017

Zen, Simplicity, and Design

It doesn't matter what you want to design: software, hardware, furniture, or a business process.

You can benefit from a philosophy of zen and simplicity:

1. To achieve enlightenment and relief from suffering, Zen teaches detachment.  In design, we can apply detachment to escape the specifics of a situation, and design a better, more universal solutions that can be re-used.  Abstract. Simplify. Generalize.

2.  Zen teaches the concept of the Beginner's Mind—see things with fresh eyes.  In design, this means to start from 0, remove as many preconceptions as you can.

3. Zen value of emptiness.   Self-imposed restrictions and constraints increase elegance and economy.  Keep trying to make your design smaller, more minimal, with less parts—until you can't take anything away.