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Dieter Rams and intelligently simple design

I was reading a great article today titled Does The Digital Age Overcomplicate Design? 

Unfortunately I have to say, yes, it does. In this age of designing for all sizes of screens and interfaces, UI/UX strategy has become paramount. And it is interesting just how much changes in design for our new digital gadgets actually affect society. One only has to take a look at the palava around Apple's Jony Ives' decision to move from the skeuomorphic design of iOS6 to the flat design of iOS7. Meanwhile, here's an extract from the article:

...the German electronics company Braun was producing record players and radios that were designed so intelligently that they were stunningly simple to use. Braun’s design team achieved this by minimizing the number of controls, and using visual and tactile clues, including color-coding and variations in texture, thereby encouraging people to operate the products correctly, and to feel as if they had done so instinctively. The objective was for each device to be “self-explanatory,” as Dieter Rams, Braun’s chief designer, put it. He had no time for instruction manuals, maintaining that “most people don’t read them,” yet Braun’s were designed as models of clarity, just like its gizmos.

I've often said that great product designers build out the best websites and mobile navigation. It is well known that Ives' is a disciple of Rams, one of the best product designer/thinkers in the modern age, and it shows up in his minimalist, clean lines for Apple products and now in iOS7. He also has a personal foreword in this book, Dieter Rams: As Little Design as Possible which I recommend for anyone wanting to dig into Rams' design ethos.


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