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Up and Down the Ladder of Abstraction

March 6, 2014

Up and Down the Ladder of Abstraction

http://worrydream.com/LadderOfAbstraction/

“Likewise, the most powerful way to gain insight into a system is bymoving between levels of abstraction. Many designers do this instinctively. But it’s easy to get stuck on the ground, experiencing concrete systems with no higher-level view. It’s also easy to get stuck in the clouds, working entirely with abstract equations or aggregate statistics.

This interactive essay presents the ladder of abstraction, a technique for thinking explicitly about these levels, so a designer can move among them consciously and confidently.”

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