Thoughts on The Best Interface is No Interface

I can say without a doubt that Golden Krishna’s book, The Best Interface is No Interface, is definitely one of my favorite books thus far. It beautifully articulates the certain frustrations I’ve had with apps and sites in an extremely easy to understand way.

If you’re looking to pick up a book related to product design, you need to read this one. It’s a quick yet poignant read.

As a fair warning, there are many spoilers in this post about the book.

One of the first points Krishna drives home is the app conundrums we’ve got ourselves into, and only slowly starting to move away from. In college,  I wrote freelance for an iPhone app review site, and was amazed by all of the different apps that were out there. Some apps I remember reviewing include a social fitting room advice app, an app for different photo poses, and a whole lot more.

As Krishna puts it, “We moved way past ‘mundane’ social issues and collectively propelled the technology field – where disruption and innovation has a proven track record of changing everyday lives – to giving the world what it really needs: more mobile apps.”

From there, Krishna uses various examples to show how, even considering how advanced technology has become, we are still trading ease of use, fewer steps, and our sanity for a mobile app interface or general GUI. In other words, we love to slap an app on just about everything!

There are three main solutions he describes in how to break out of this habit as well as how to advance how we solve design problems:

  1. Embrace typical processes instead of screens
  2. Leverage computers instead of serving them
  3. Adapt to individuals

I’ve already given enough away, but this book really makes you think hard about how we go about creating solutions. It’s definitely changed the way I look at solutions.

I’ll end this post with one of my favorite quotes from the book:

The real power of “the best interface is no interface” is as a call to action. As a philosophy. It’s not about flat design or skeumorphic. Web or mobile. This is about aiming for the best outcome of NoUI. One that doesn’t distract us or try to get us addicted, something that embraces the way we live and aims to make it better quietly and elegantly. For technology to become embedded in the fabric of our lives instead of a distraction away from what really matters.

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