category: UIUX 360

Tesler’s Law

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Tesler’s Law

What is Tesler’s Law?


The law of conservation of complexity, also known as Tesler's law or the waterbed principle, is a saying in human-computer interaction that every application has an inherent amount of complexity that cannot be removed or hidden. Instead, it should be dealt with either in product development or user interaction.

Larry Tesler (a computer scientist) famously said "Every application has an inherent amount of irreducible complexity. The only question is: who has to deal with it – the user, the application developer, or the platform developer?"

While reducing the complexity for the user, we are likely to shift the complexity to the designers, developers, etc. Complexity is similar to the law of conservation of energy ie; Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be transferred from one system to another.

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