“A design isn’t finished when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

“A design isn’t finished when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

I read that quote once a few months back and it stuck with me.  It is such an interesting thing to say and it just makes my mind start moving at what it really means. When you starting out doing anything, designing a site, programming a class, or even building a house, you have this grand vision of how it will work.

So you throw all of your ideas together and make a plan to build the best and most useful application on the internet. The quote is a reminder to step back from your goals every so often so that you can take a hard look and decide if something is really useful. That initial excitement and feature list can blind you to the fact that most users will not use or care about 20% of the functionality. Removing that 20% will increase usability by decreasing the learning curve for the users.

3 thoughts on ““A design isn’t finished when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.””

    1. Hey Ralston,
      I couldn’t find the source at the time I posted this, but I did another look to try and find it and I came across this stack exchange post http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/38837/where-does-this-translation-of-saint-exuperys-quote-on-design-come-from

      It seems the quote I used was a paraphrasing of this quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:

      “In anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away, when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness.”

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