Friday, February 09, 2007

The Laws of Simplicity - Law 2: Organize

Summarizing Maeda's Laws of Simplicity ...

"Maeda’s second law in The Laws of Simplicity that of Organize is based on a principle he calls SLIP – Sort Label Integrate Prioritize. It’s kind of like an extended version of a card sort.

Organization makes a system of many appear fewer.

He begins the second law with something we can all relate to - the ongoing battle to organize our living space. And, personally, I couldn’t think of a better story to communicate organize than this:

There are three consistent strategies for achieving simplicity in the living realm: 1) buy a bigger house, 2) put everything you don’t really need into storage, or 3) organize your existing assets in a systematic fashion.

SORT- Maeda describes what is often referred to as a card sorting exercise. Take all the elements of the system that need to be organized and write them on index cards or post it notes. Lay them out on a table and put like items together in groups.

LABEL - Once you have the items sorted into groups that make sense, label those groups. Give them an appropriate title.

INTEGRATE - When appropriate, integrate like groups together. During this process, you might also break some groups apart.

PRIORITIZE - This is something that is really critical to the process - deciding that of greatest to least importance. Once you have your collections established, organize them in order of priority. This is probably the most difficult part of the SLIPing process. He references the Pareto Principle, which states that in any given data set, 80% can be managed at a lower priority and 20% requires the highest priority."    (Continued via toddwarfel)    [Usability Resources]

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