The Law of Conservation of Complexity/Tesler's Law
1. Introduction to the Law of Conservation of Complexity/Tesler's Law
The Law of Conservation of Complexity was proposed by Larry Tesler in 1984, also known as Tesler's Law. In the book "Designing for Interaction: Creating Smart Applications and Clever Devices" by Dan Saffer, there is an interview with Larry Tesler in which the law of conservation of complexity is discussed. Since then, the Law of Conservation of Complexity has become well known in the fields of user experience and interaction design as a professional reference.Larry Tesler's point has sparked a debate among developers: should an engineer spend an extra week trying to make a software program less difficult to use, or millions of users should spend an extra minute overcoming this problem. A difficulty, which view is more conducive to the success of the enterprise. The debate itself also reflects the generality of the law of conservation of complexity, not just in the realm of software and applications.
The law holds that every process has its inherent complexity, and there is a critical point beyond which the process cannot be simplified any more, and b2b data you can only move the inherent complexity from one place to another.
2. The value of complexity conservation law/ Tesler's Law for design
Every application has inherent, irreducible complexity. Whether in product development or in the interaction between users and products, this inherent complexity cannot be removed according to our wishes, and can only be adjusted and balanced. This view is mainly applied in the field of interaction design.
Case 1: For example, the design evolution of the remote control
Students who have used smart TVs will find a problem. The remote control interface buttons of smart TVs are much less than that of ordinary TV remote control buttons. The design is also more concise, and it is easier to use. There is no such strong fear of choice. The efficiency of decision-making is also improved; the reduction of buttons means that the functions carried by the remote control are reduced, that is, the operation complexity of the remote control is reduced; let's look at the changes in the interface and operation of the TV, ordinary TV The interface of the TV is usually very simple. When you use the remote control to turn on the TV, the current screen of a channel must be displayed on the interface, and there will be no complicated selection page. Now the interface of smart TV is different. Complicated, similar to the video APP currently used, the interaction is also quite complicated. Although the functions of the remote control have been reduced, the interface and interaction complexity of the TV has been improved; it is not difficult to see from the above examples that the reduction in complexity is a The relative concept cannot be overly simplified, and can only be transferred through technology or other means to improve the user experience of the product.
Case 2: For example, the evolution of mobile phone design
In the era when Nokia mobile phones dominated, basically all mobile phone styles were a display screen with operation buttons at the bottom. The screen was responsible for displaying the content, and the physical buttons at the bottom realized various operations, such as making calls, sending text messages, Internet access, chatting QQ, playing small games, etc., just like the classic Nokia mobile phone on the left in the picture below, we can clearly see that its layout is quite complicated, especially the dense physical buttons, the screen is relatively small, the reading experience is now It seems to be quite bad; since Apple released the Apple 3GS full-screen mobile phone, it has completely changed the design style and operating experience of the mobile phone, which is the style of Android and Apple smartphones we see now, with larger screens, gestures The operation and the brand-new interface are refreshing; from the evolution of mobile phones, smart phones have simplified the physical operation buttons, and reduced the complexity of mobile phone operations through technical means, especially complex interactive gesture operations. A lot of technology and capital investment are needed to solve it, which also reflects the law of complex conservation.