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The Best Interface Is No Interface: The Simple Path to Brilliant Technology

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4.02  ·  Rating details ·  693 ratings  ·  68 reviews

Our love affair with the digital interface is out of control. We've embraced it in the boardroom, the bedroom, and the bathroom.

Screens have taken over our lives. Most people spend over eight hours a day staring at a screen, and some "technological innovators" are hoping to grab even more of your eyeball time. You have screens in your pocket, in your car, on your appliance
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Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 22nd 2015 by New Riders Publishing (first published January 16th 2015)
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4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  693 ratings  ·  68 reviews


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David Trowbridge
Mar 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
What a wasted opportunity. The basic premise is good, but it's drowned out by cynicism and repetition. There's nowhere near enough content for a book of this length, and the attempts to be "entertaining" just come off as mean-spirited and annoying. Calls to action should be inspiring, not insipid.
Nathan
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Interesting idea, but I think it was expanded from a blog post and should've stayed there. Lots of repetition all just to say the design world should try to solve problems rather than invent interfaces, because they just put lots more steps between the problem and solution.

Kevin
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Design professional Golden Krishna has become frustrated with graphical user interfaces. The novelty has worn off putting every important function into a smartphone app, and the ubiquity of touchscreens has made ordinary people subservient to their technology. Think about it: does your refrigerator really need WiFi compatibility and a streaming Pandora feed? Even better, is driving enhanced when drivers have in-dash Facebook demanding their attention?

Krishna comes from a background in User Exper
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Taylor Wright
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was introduced to this book after watching Golden Krishna and Eric Campbell's incredible SXSW Keynote titled "You Know What? Fuck Dropdowns". That talk changed the way I was looking at a lot of the problems I was working on with game UX. I wanted to know more so I picked up the book and was delighted with what I found. Golden's voice is smart, engaging, and humorous, pointing out the absurdity found in many contemporary UX trappings. While light on solutions, the book shows some interesting ca ...more
Becky Johnston
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
As a computer functioning individual, a book about technology is a little out of my normal wheelhouse, but I found this book engaging and compelling. This book was about ways to make technology more seamlessly integrated into daily and social life, which was fascinating, but the points I found the most compelling were a little more...selfish. This book really made me take a look at the way I interact with technology (my cellphone that never leaves my pocket or hand), and ways that I should impro ...more
Valeria Vozzheva
Nov 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I struggled to read the book: perhaps, because of a cultural gap or, probably, due to wrong expectations. Though the topic raised in is quite important, the author's manner to present his thoughts fits rather a sarcastic comedy show. Btw the "Dropdowns" presentation is brilliant. I can not summarize the content, because it is actually a collection of stories, supporting the main idea: The best interface is NO interface. Fair enough. Sometimes.
Jacob Mclaws
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design
One of the most refreshing books on design I've read. Quite repetitive and more sermon/rant than field guide, but it's an important sermon/rant. Can't say it better than Doug Lemoine says on the back cover, "If Silicon Valley doesn't read this book, we're all ****ed."

Emily Carlin
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: design
This is a really good book. I think it should be required reading for all designers.

It definitely helped me to zoom out and think about what my job actually is or should be: creating experiences. That is not a 1:1 fit with creating an interface. An interface (if one needs to be there at al) is just the tip of the experience iceberg. Krishna's central point is that the more we can aim for "NoUI" experiences, where we leverage sensors and computers' unique powers, the better off we will be.

A cri
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Amy
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
The first 2/3rds of this book was highly amusing and quick to read. The last 1/3rd was a bit more of a slog, especially because Krishna is a bit more optimistic than I am about the ethics of data collection in particular. This was touched on briefly as a "yup, it's a problem". No. This is a HUGE problem. We lack the regulation needed, and the current structure of the Internet encourages ad revenue motivations that profit from invasiveness.

I like the concept of reducing UI. We are in an app obses
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Dimitar Smilyanov
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly fun and informative rant about the current state of decision making and bad design. We're all collectively guilty of it. I'm glad I finally found a book that's quick to read and clearly explains (with good, real-world examples) why designing for screens is fundamentally wrong. I'll gladly recommend this book to someone the next time I utter the phrase "For the love of god, take that dropdown away from me."
I'd recommend this book to anyone who's interested in design and problem-solving
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Ardavan Mir
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very clear design thesis and a sound argument, but I think this book could have been wrapped up in (at most) a long article format. There are so many examples and complications for a simple idealistic design philosophy. Lots of over explanations in this book.

I loved the idea of reducing screen-centred interactions and engagement addiction that has been widespread throughout the digital product world. It's humanistic and value-oriented.
Phil
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was fine. It's an interesting idea but I felt like the essay itself was a little too casual for my liking. For example, I noticed flagrant English grammar and syntax mistakes that, while I'd accept them in a blog post (or something similar) I don't expect to see in a printed argumentative essay, but to each their own.
Jorge De Sousa
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Incredibly reductive. I don't know a single designer who sees the world as starkly between MORE INTERFACE and MORE USER EXPERIENCE as Krishna rants about in this book. Perhaps it'll be a useful for those entirely disengaged with the industry, but I highly doubt that's the intended audience. To those new to digital design: move on from this. There are better, more nuanced reads out there.
Rangi Robinson
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Notes

Interfaces take us away from the moment.

Interfaces complicate our lives, rather than making them better.
- example of convoluted phone app to unlock car door
- the ill-conceived "apps" on my old printer or social network attempts by companies like O2 and Coke

Interfaces make us slaves rather than masters.
- computer tantrums ("your title - mr, miss - is *mandatory* to sign up for our wifi!")
- Saying "oops!" doesn't make it better

Screen-based thinking. Good design solves problems. Don't assume t
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Maxim Kolmakov
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Easy read with a beautiful design. The whole book is about one single idea (NoUI) but that doesn't make it dull or repetitive. The idea looks obvious but only with hindsight and it is really worth to be brought up again and again.
Kylie Upton
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this book straight through as I found it extremely engaging which is unusual for a business book. I felt there were a number of great concepts throughout the book and definitely got a few ideas for future design projects. I would recommend this to anyone in the tech industry.
Jonnyboy
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting and thought provoking. It felt a little blog-like, which can be a good thing, but lacking a little in its transformation to a book. With refinement and better real world examples, I might even give it 5 stars.
Jay
Sep 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: design
Hilariously presented argument stating how absurd it can be to "slap an interface on something" in order to fix it, rather than addressing core design challenges. It has encouraged me to search more broadly for design solutions.
Igor Stojkovic
Jun 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book was a waste of time. It is basically a rant about how user interfaces are bad, and how everyone thinks all problems can be solved with an app when you just need to think about the actual problem.
Nikita Ba.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book incepts a good idea. It makes you think big. As a web UX designer, I think that it is impossible to get rid of screens. However, simplifying user interaction with machines should be our mission. Machines should work for us instead of vice versa.
Dmitry Boichenko
Dec 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
Bad, but the central idea is useful.
Gleb
Mar 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nypl
This should be an article, not a book. I was also surprised that the book treated the privacy issues with big data as an issue of transparency.
Sean Dwyer
Oct 11, 2017 rated it liked it
An interesting read. More philosophical musing than practical advice.
Nimrod Priell
Jun 03, 2017 rated it liked it
The idea is interesting but feels like fluff was inserted to demonstrate it in an overly humorous way. Reads like a rather long blog post though it could be summarized.
Alison
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Interesting and well written, but rather pointless. I'd say it would've made a better article, but then I probably wouldn'tve read it.
Aurelio Arantes
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A necessary irony for us who are addicted to thinking about interfaces. I liked it.
Gin
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Yes.
Milos Nikolic
Good beginning and some interesting ideas but it feels unfinished.
Andy Keil
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Could've been WAY more content given the length. But a quick read that gets your head in the right mindset.
Mert Selcuk
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
No UI, No UX, No GUI. Keep things simple. Keeps things proactive and dynamic. Lesser the interaction better the lack of distraction.
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“After all, as Edward Tufte once said, “Overload, clutter, and confusion are not attributes of information, they are failures of design.” 4 likes
“In the words of Jeff Hammerbacher, a former manager at Facebook and the founder of Cloudera, “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads. That sucks.” 3 likes
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