simplicity

calculus made easy - explaining complex things simply

Explaining complex things simply: Wise words from Silvanus P Thompson

By Bernie | January 14, 2015

A good friend of mine showed me his treasured copy of ‘Calculus Made Easy’ by Silvanus P Thompson, first published in 1910. Here’s the front cover…   First published in 1910, here are some wise words on explaining complex things simply from Silvanus… CONSIDERING how many fools can calculate, it is surprising that it should…

Who needs computers?

By Bernie | September 5, 2011

I was in the Cabinet War Rooms a little while ago (the bunker where Churchill ran his WWII operations – for anyone not familiar). Something that struck me was the universal use of really clear, concise and well thought out charts, graphs and maps. Here’s a shot of one:   The key on this graph…

Smooth bottoms and dashboard design

By Bernie | August 30, 2011

Most people don’t look at the bottom of their laptop. If they do then they will see one of two things: If it’s a Apple Mac the bottom with be smooth and (with the latest ones) completely featureless apart from four rounded rubber feet. If it’s a PC it will have little hatches, a Microsoft…

Do You Work for an Idiot?

By James Lawther | July 9, 2011

Here is a process improvement idea for you. It is called “poke yoke”. I am told that that is Japanese for “making things easy to get right and difficult to get wrong”. It is a rather grand name for what my old boss used to call “idiot proofing”. Let me give you an example: think…

Harry Beck

When to leave things out and ignore people….

By Bernie | November 8, 2010

Sometimes things jar when you first see them. I see this a lot with dashboards that I help design (or redesign). People become very wedded to both the look – but more crucially they are wedded to the logic of how something is laid out. I think a brilliant example of this is the modern…