Emotional Complexity

Over the past week I’ve been writing about the issue of simplicity and its relationship to complexity. At the focus of this has been the work of John Maeda and his Laws of Simplicity. Today I wrap up my critique looking at the 7th Law: Emotion.

In this law, Maeda states:

More emotions are better than less

The idea is that emotions help us frame the context in which things exist and could be used and thus, the more emotions we apply to an object or phenomenon the more we are able to see the simple.

My early training in psychology and a lifetime of experience suggests that, like my previous critiques , this law overstates things somewhat and requires an asterisk.

Emotions animate interest in things, but they also obscure the phenomenon that one views. So perhaps there is greater simplicity, but the  clarity that comes from simplicity is removed.

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