quote of the day

The trouble begins with a design philosophy that equates “more options” with “greater freedom.” … In my experience, the instruments and tools that endure (because they are loved by their users) have limited options.

– Brian Eno in Wired Magazine, 1999



  1. Well said.

  2. Christoph says:

    So true…

  3. I agree 100%. I’ve found that I’m far more creative when I have less to work with. Too many options = too much wasted time.

  4. So Freedom is the ability to accept restrictions ? … mhm … So happy those, who found their last restriction in something go(o)d. πŸ™‚

  5. susiwong says:

    Partially agreed …
    I think what makes a good tool is a tasteful choice of controls and parameter ranges, leaving out the esoteric and presenting the important stuff in an intuitive manner.
    There is always the option of having a hidden “expert” panel with some additional options for special situations …
    This is a very important topic, and a trap which a lot of current plugins didn’t manage to avoid (ampsims, anybody πŸ˜‰ )
    Personally I expect a plugin (just like in hardware) to have a certain “personality”, and more often than not this is achieved by deliberate limitation.
    When I compare how often I use Density II and how often X-Comp …
    Granted, apples and oranges to a degree .
    Still, the rare occasions where you need total control make X-Comp great to have, but Density II gets used a lot more, and is very satisfying. πŸ™‚

  6. +1
    This is some sort of universal truth. And it should be the maxim of every developer – regardless of which product we’re talking about.

  7. Klemperer says:

    Nice advice for developers :). Like all statements this too is over-simplified, of course, and it remains to be seen if in 59 years, 4 months and 17 seconds^^ some people will rave about Reaktor, which has “more options” and “greater freedom”. But really, Mr. Eno has a point, too.

  8. Of course it’s true… show me a musical instrument that has no limits
    – a guitar with a zillion strings maybe?

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