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As Much Trouble as It’s Worth

A quick thought about design as sleight of hand.

In an article for Smithsonian magazine, renowned magician Teller (of the duo Penn & Teller) offers a handful of guiding principles for altering an audience’s perceptions. This one is my favorite:

Make the secret a lot more trouble than the trick seems worth. You will be fooled by a trick if it involves more time, money and practice than you (or any other sane onlooker) would be willing to invest.

This is the stuff great design is made of: lavishing a totally unreasonable amount of attention on even the most seemingly insignificant details.