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Embracing constraint

Simon Collison
September 23, 2012

Embracing constraint

Refresh LX, Lisbon, Portugal, 21st September 2012

For many designers total freedom is far from ideal. We need an idea or a brief, but with that come inevitable constraints. Understanding and embracing these constraints is key to finding a simpler way to manage complexity in the websites we build. With less freedom and fewer resources, we have to make smarter decisions. In this practical talk, Simon will look at why we should impose limits, with a focus on making sense of the constraints we're given, why we should apply constraints ourselves, and how constraints can be a core feature in our work.

Simon Collison

September 23, 2012
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Transcript

  1. Embracing
    constraint

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  2. Having complete freedom is
    possibly the worst way to start
    any project.

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  3. Given constraints

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  4. With less freedom and fewer
    resources, we have to make
    smarter decisions.

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  5. Why impose limits?

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  6. Simplicity
    and
    complexity

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  7. Less is more. Simple is be er.
    Right?

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  8. We don’t design web pages.
    We design systems.

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  9. Constraint is key to understanding complexity.
    Increase constraint and you create an ordered
    system; do that inappropriately and you create
    the conditions for catastrophic failure; remove
    constraint and the system is chaotic.
    Dave Snowden, The 5 C’s of Complexity

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  10. Content
    as constraint

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  11. The constraints we know,
    and the constraints we’ve
    yet to encounter.

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  12. Unleash complexity in
    orchestrated phases, and
    increase power gradually.

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  13. Constraints
    as selling point

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  14. We design to communicate,
    and we seek emotive responses.

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  15. delight / emotion / surprise
    systems / constraint / restraint
    simplicity / complexity / focus
    context / reduction

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  16. Thanks
    Simon Collison
    @colly

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