Perfection is achieved when there is nothing left to take away


Edit: As noted in the comments, the originally submitted quote was slightly inaccurate, but added the focus on designers.  I’ll keep that version available, but please note that the quote above is more accurate.

“Perfection is achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Quote submitted by Geoff Alday. Geoff found the quote in this presentation by Will Tschumy from Microsoft (Slide 105).  Check out Geoff’s thoughts on the presentation here.

Robyn had also submitted this quote via a comment on the inspireUX post “The life of a designer is a life of fight against the ugliness.”

Do you have a quote you want to see on inspireUX?  Submit it and it may be posted!

Catriona Shedd

I am a User Experience Designer with a passion for making people’s lives better through design. I have helped over a dozen organizations obtain a competitive advantage by delivering great user experiences across desktop, mobile, tablet and other channels.

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  • Anon

    I’m splitting hairs here, but the quote is a little wrong: It starts “Perfection is achieved…”. Antoine de Saint Exupéry (1900-1944) wouldn’t have written about designers in this way.

    As well as being the author of The Little Prince, he was also an amazingly talented pilot. His Autobiography Wind, Sand & Stars is fascinating.

  • I had a feeling this wasn’t quite right, but couldn’t find the original quote. Thank you for the correction! I have updated the quote accordingly, since I want to keep them as accurate as possible. The “designer” version is a popular quote, even though incorrect, so I’ve kept that as a link for those interested.

    Thanks for the catch!

  • Just wanted to drop a note and say thanks, it was great to find your site and I have used the above inspireUX quote on my blog post ( and linked to your site.
    Keep up the good work.

  • Perfection in design is not achieved when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove. Seems like everyone has their own way of writing this wonderful quote,,,,any way you write it, it still tells a beautiful fact of our creative minds 🙂 enjoy 🙂

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  • There is still an error in the quote. “Perfection is achieved perfection…”; remove the second “perfection”.

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  • Michael Pohoreski

    “The *best* UI is one that gets out of your way.”