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I am always looking for  new ways to improve design velocity, and a co-worker recommended me this article. The Pareto Principle, also known as the “Law of the Vital Few” or the “80/20 Rule” is well known, even if not by title, to anyone who has the responsibility of managing a workforce, congregation or classroom of students.

The Pareto principle states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

When Joseph M. Juran named this phenomenon after Vilfredo Pareto in 1906, it was as a consequence of observing that 80% of the land of Italy was owned by 20% of the population. It also explains why 80% of those convicted of crimes only commit 20% of all criminal acts and why 20% of those using the American health system use 80% of its services. Another way to explain it is that “80% of effects come from 20% of causes.”

In practical application, on a website, an instructional manual or similar reference site, if 80% of the viewers only use 20% of the supplied information, tabs, buttons, etc., then those tabs not being used can be minimized or eliminated for a cleaner, more efficient model. This then supports Ockham’s Razor and the positive value of simplicity.

Read more: The 80/20 Rule Applied to Web Design