Tuesday, August 23, 2016

'Derivability' is a Principle of Design for Complex Tools

Derivability minimizes:
  • Need for memorization
  • The learning curve on skill acquisition
  • Arbitrary factors in technical operations
  • Costs of operation
  • Unnecessary skill-set isolation

Derivibility means that a user can logically derive most usage scenarios of an otherwise complex tool, given a smaller set of operating guidelines.


Small learning curve means easier adoption.


Good derivibility must also facilitate good modularity.

Considerations Around Derivibility:

  • definition of a tool
    • foreseeable purpose
    • absolute limitations
  • relative limitations - (to be reduced)
  • existence of intrinsic layers
  • directionalities in simplicity to complexity
  • universality and depth of task presence
  • directionalities in task dependencies
  • directionalities in skill dependencies
  • irreducible complexity by systemically external confines
  • any and all forms of irreducible complexity
    • any controlling factors of task reducibility

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