Minimalist design is deceivingly simple. Form design is minimalist. A form’s critical function and necessity for ease-of-use makes much of it’s structure disappear or serve to silently guide. The design process removes visual cues until there’s almost nothing left to grasp and compare. So the best way to make progress is to constantly compare variations as we progress forward. It’s important to show subtle variations in a A/B style comparison. Either side-by-side or toggling full screen from one option to another. Just like when the eye doctor checks our eyes with various lenses. This allows us to progress in an orderly direction and isolate the commentary to specific steps. It’s a minimalist mirror of action to the finish line or safe landing.

When JFK jr. got into his plane with his wife and sister-in-law for a routine flight to Martha’s Vineyard he inadvertently entered a minimalist environment. He glided into the fog and lost all visual cues as reference points. Subtle errors without correction turned his plane into a tragic arc that banked and nosed into a death spiral. Besides a loss of reference points his mind was fooled by the G-force into believing he was still flying level until it was too late.

So in any minimalist environment we have to trust our instruments and not be fooled by signals that can’t be confirmed. In design our instruments are the careful and methodical comparison. There must be some other tools, so please add any ideas. What starts out as a seemingly tedious method eventually increases to swift efficiency as large branches of exploration are cut off and discarded. We can look back at all the comparisons and appreciate a silent simple form. Simplicity is a cloak that hides numerous evolutionary steps.

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