Penelope Rance

My UX research & design ramblings

Book Review - The Best Interface Is No Interface

I am not sure when I first heard about this book, but it was only when I heard an interview with Golden Krishna on the Boag World podcast that I became really interested. They talked about the book and discussed some of the ideas in it and I found myself wanting to know more.

photo of book
Golden Krishna's The Best Interface Is No Interface

So to start, as Golden says right at the beginning, he's "not even using the word interface correctly." It should actually read graphical user interface, but that's a bit clunky isn't it. Basically this is a book about how to move away from designing everything for screens, on computers, phones, watches etc, and start to do something else.

It was a really interesting read with Golden making his case carefully and in detail.

He starts by explaining what happens now and how we could make it better. For instance using your phone to unlock your car. If you just use your keys it takes maybe 3 steps, walk up to car, use keys, open door. If you use an app on your phone it's more likely to be 13 steps as you find the app and open it. Better still to just walk up to your car and open the door, while the technology does its thing in the background, checking that the keys are there and letting you in if everything is good. No screen involved.

"The book is full of examples which make me excited and full of thoughts of how we could improve everything"

The book is full of examples like this which make me excited and full of thoughts of how we could improve everything. Of course we are all so used to screens that it is very hard to think of interactions without them, and then convince others that this is the way to go.

So the last section, where he works through the arguments against moving away from screens, is really useful. These are all arguments I think he has dealt with in real life, and includes counter arguments. But what I particularly liked was his suggestion that give it a few years and rather than be excited by his book we will be bored with it, after all it is so obvious, why would you use screens for everything anyway?

I really enjoyed reading this book. It is an engaging read and I found myself happy to have train delays so I could read a little bit more.

If you are involved in technology and are interested in where we might go in the future this is a must read. It challenges our ideas of normal and although it can not give us all the answers Golden makes some pretty good suggestions. I know that the ideas in this book are going to stay with me, and I hope that I can help make his vision of the future a reality.

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