In Pursuit of EleganceMatthew May, author of The Elegant Solution, will publish his new book, In Pursuit of Elegance, in May. In the mean

time, @guykawasaki was kind enough to tweet a link to an overview.  Here is an excerpt from the section entitled Subtraction:

“The true enemy of elegance is excess, because it can almost always be eliminated or reduced, where complexity, although we can manage or hide it, often can’t.”

“…excess comes in three distinct forms: inconsistency, overload, and waste. We all face these types of problems, and it is the means by which we handle them that enables or prevents elegance. Understanding what piece to make missing is the trick.”

When it comes to UI design, and enterprise UI design in particular, it is very easy to fall into the trap of excess. Enterprise software is inherently complex and enterprise customers often have different concerns than the actual users of the software. They nearly always want more features, functionality and, most importantly, more control. The Blackberry is an excellent example of excess in which enterprises’ demands for control and flexibility have resulted in a labyrinth of device settings. Just compare the iPhone settings panel to the Blackberry and you’ll see what I mean.

Successfully avoiding the excess that so often accompanies complexity is clearly a huge challenge, which brings me to an interesting question: When was the last time, if ever, you used enterprise software that you would describe as elegant?

Read the full text: In Pursuit of Excellence: Overview