Occam's Razor

Created: Monday, 24 March 2008 Written by Gary Elsbernd Print Email

"When two or more explanations exist, the simplest one is probably true." - Occam's Razor - William Occam

Sometimes said as "When you hear hoofbeats, don't start looking for zebras," the actual quote is "Entities must not be multiplied beyond what is necessary," but this seems unnecessarily (and ironically) complicated. The sentiment, however, brings us back to simplification. Great design is not the result of nothing more to add, but nothing more to take away.

If we can equally implement a function with different controls, the one that is more common, generally accepted or more easily manipulated is the best choice. We cannot focus on the "gee-whiz" technology so much that instead of helping us simplify our jobs it makes them more difficult or complicated.