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The Law of Conservation of Complexity

For any system there is a certain amount of complexity which cannot be reduced…Tesler argues that, in most cases, an engineer should spend an extra week reducing the complexity of an application versus making millions of users spend an extra minute using the program becausse of the extra complexity. However, Bruce Tognazzini proposes that people resist reductions to the amount of complexity in their lives. Thus, when an application is simplified, users begin attempting more complex tasks – Law of UX – which is actually pulled from the Wikipedia entry

All processes have a core of complexity that cannot be designed away. The only question is what handles it: the system, or the user. Medium post

Tweet rephrasing as

Every application has an inherent amount of irreducible complexity. The only question is: Who will have to deal with it - the user, the application developer, or the platform developer”

Raising the question of how those layers apply to educational technology.

Misc mentions

Larry Tesler argues that there are always some complications in the design. These complications exist in every aspect of the design. These complications cannot be simplified and must be converged in a reasonable way [10].

Tweet with image quote

As you make the user interaction simpler you make things more complicated for the designer or engineer

Complexity has to live somewhere

Link requisite variety and complexity. Norman’s ideas of knowledge in the head and knowledge in the world.

The phrase complexity has to live somewhere is a good one


Larry Tesler Interview: The Laws of Interaction Design