Your problems aren’t as complicated as you might think.

Simple is better than complex. Complex is better than complicated.

The zen of python.

How can you get a ten-year old to build and operate a nuclear reactor?

Give him the right tools.

I’ve always been amazed by the problemsolving skills of children and young adults playing videogames. Even moreso in games where managing a significant amount of complexity comes into play.

Games offer spectacular insights into problemsolving skills. Did you think the lights in my little cousin’s house in minecraft got powered magically? Think again. He had to build a nuclear reactor, feeder reactor, highspeed steamturbine and cooling facility all to get power to the contraptions he created.

But the abstractions, the controls of the user interface to build all these things, are very simple. All in all the blocks in the game solve all the trivial problems for you – and just present you with the big-picture ideas which you can solve by combining other big-picture ideas.

Software and it’s user interfaces aren’t that different. They are controls created by designers and engineers with which you have to solve a problem.

And if the problem still seems too complicated to solve, then you just have to approach the problem differently. Rethink your approach to the controls.