The best interface is no interface

Creative minds in technology should focus on solving problems. Not just make interfaces.

The real problem with the interface is that it is an interface. Interfaces get in the way. We don’t want to focus our energies on an interface. We want to focus on the job…we don’t want to think of ourselves as using a computer, we want to think of ourselves as doing our job.

interface

The idea is to drop the interface wherever we possibly can to just get people do what they want to be doing; get out of their way and let them go through the course of their day; let them get the things they want to get done, done. And let them spend their time on those things they want to spend their time and not going through software.

It’s time for us to move beyond screen-based thinking. Because when we think in screens, we design based upon a model that is inherently unnatural, inhumane, and has diminishing returns.

There is a better path: No UI. We have to eliminate interfaces to embrace natural processes, leverage computers instead of catering to them, and create a system that adapts to people.

No UI is about machines helping us, instead of us adapting for computers. By embracing No UI, the design focuses on our needs. There’s no interface for the sake of interface.

Good experience design isn’t about good screens, it’s about good experiences.

The impact of technology will increase ten-fold as it is imbedded in the fabric of everyday life. As technology becomes more imbedded and invisible, it calms our lives by removing annoyances while keeping us connected with what is truly important.

Summing-up: Many believe the future of design is in screens. They’re wrong. It’s time to kill the interface. Let’s start with no UI. Let’s think about the problems as they are. Instead of making them interface problems.

These notes have been taken from:

4 Comments

  1. Goio Telletxea

    I agree. But we first need to start designing better services. And I say this because most of the times I could see the problem of a bad UI is just on the front of a bad designed service. Once we define a good service, we can apply our contact points with the user in many ways: with physical devices or digital ones (or both). Even when we apply them on the first ones, we need some minimal UI (for example, Google Glass). And it has to be a really good experience, as a customer, as a user. So, I agree with the “No UI” idea solely for the purpose of making screens (it makes no sense, anyway), but I think we still need to communicate visually part of the information. I’m also thinking on these things lately, specially on these times where industrial design (devices), interface design, interaction design seem to meet together in delicious ways. There’s a lot of job to be done. 🙂 (sorry, my english is really poor)

  2. Jesus Gil Hernandez

    Thanks Goio, I am very grateful and honoured by your comment.

    I buy the idea of thinking in a “No UI” solution; I believe that it is worth taking the effort of thinking what really the problem we are trying to solve is, and having this into account create the best interface for that.

    I agree with you that first of all, the internal system and service must be well designed and yes, there is a delicious challenge in front of us in order to create best interfaces and great user experiences.

    Above all, I would like to interact with interfaces which doesn’t make me think. For instance: the washing machine, the TV remote control, countless corporate websites,… ; a lot of things must be more user-centered.

    Thank you for your work, La Personnalité is one of the best representatives in creating great design, interaction and user experiences… and great interfaces!

  3. Goio Telletxea

    Yes Jesús, we need to reduce the efforts of the people using devices/interfaces. Specially, those you’ve mentioned affect a lot of people using them through years. So, we need to realize we deliver products and services that share their lives with the customers/users. If we offer them a pleasant solution, a great experience (as you said) probably they’ll fall in love with our brand. And, probably, that’s the most important contact point a ‘love mark’ (or brand) has to care about. Branding, service design, digital products and services, user experience… at least there’s people realizing there’s a huge connection between all these disciplines. Yes, we can start looking the closed circle in its 360 degrees giving importance to all of them, always with that “a lot of things must be more user-centered” vision.

    Thanks for your nice words, really appreciated. I’ll keep on reading your thoughts. It’s good to know you give importance to aspects don’t related solely with tech or interfaces. (well, I supposed that long time ago but reading these things make me happy, :D) Best regards.

  4. Jesus Gil Hernandez

    It is very good to know that ! 😉
    Please make yourself at home, you are more than welcome here !
    Cheers.

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