Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Initial- and Standing- Simplicity/Complexity

There's a distinction that was implicit in my recent post on software simplicity/complexity. It's between the initial complexity the user experiences and the complexity they experience once they have become familiar with the system.

We can call this the distinction between initial- and standing- simplicity/complexity.

The complexity the user expeiences can vary over time. If a feature is well designed then once the user is familiar with it, it may not add much additional complexity. Whereas if a feature is poorly designed, then the amount of complexity it adds can remain over time.

The complexity can vary because it is a subjective thing. It's not simply a property of the item, but has to do with our relation to it.

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