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The Best Interface Is No Interface: The simple path to brilliant technology (Voices That Matter) 1st Edition
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"If Silicon Valley doesn't read this book, we're all ****ed."
- Doug LeMoine, Managing Director, Cooper
“An irreverent, crazy tirade. So why should you read this book? Because irreverence is precisely what is needed today to get us out of the rut of bad, unintelligible, frustrating design. Because the book is funny, caustic, and insightful. So next time you are feeling low, just open the book to some random page and read for a few minutes. You will start smiling, laughing, and learning. A great cure for all that ails you. Why read this book? Well, because I told you to.”
-Don Norman, Design Lab, University of California, San Diego
Author of The Design of Everyday Things, Revised and Expanded
“In this amusing, smart, and brave case against our screen-based world, Golden Krishna reinforces his position as one of the world’s foremost thinkers of user experience design.”
- Martin Thörnkvist, Conference Director, The Conference by Media Evolution
“This essential book will hopefully mark the moment in history when we say ‘ENOUGH!‘ to screen saturation and usher in a more meaningful co-habitation with technology.”
- Kevin Farnham, Founder of Method and Co-Author of Experience Design: A Framework for Integrating Brand, Experience, and Value
"A mind-bending, thoughtful, life-affirming and sure-to-be-controversial manifesto about how we might significantly change our relationship to the technology that surrounds us."
- Dave Gray, Author of The Connected Company and Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers
"Krishna's book is written in a very colloquial and accessible style; at times it reads more like a great argument in a Silicon Valley coffee shop, long after closing time, at a table covered in diagrams scribbled on paper napkins. But that's exactly what makes it worth reading. It's not bland theory, but a lively tale well told by someone with deep experience in the field of user experience design."
- PC Magazine
About the Author
For years, designer Golden Krishna has been behind the scenes, solving technology problems for companies from startups to Fortune 50. He’s currently a Senior UX Designer at Zappos Labs, where he works in a small group dedicated to creating new, delightful experiences for Zappos. Previously, he worked at a Samsung innovation lab, designing and building the near future of consumer electronics. He began his career working at the world-renowned design consultancy Cooper in San Francisco.
Top customer reviews
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However, for an everyday geek, or programmer, who doesn't have machine learning tools or skills to implement the ideas here, this book is full of lots of "No", and very little "Yes". The author suggests a few tools which are "doing it right", but offers little concrete advice for curing the ills described. So, you're left with an hour or two worth of entertainment, and little more.
In short, this is a short little sermon, which was enjoyable. It's a 5 star book at $6, but a 3 star book at $16. Read it, or better still, find it on sale later. It can wait.
Throughout the narrative, Krishna outlines the silliness of tech's obsession with putting screen-based interfaces on things that probably don't need them--take for instance the 17" touchscreen in the center console of a Tesla--and then offers real-world examples of more invisible and far more useful technology. It's a great way to mix necessary criticism of an industry that has lots of mental processing power but deficient conscience, with actionable, tenable solutions.
The writing style is pretty informal, but entertaining. There were lots of good examples of products that had fallen short (created useless apps) and products that had gone the "correct" path and made a meaningful impact without a screen as the primary input, so that's good. But there are concrete, actionable take aways I had from this book.
In “The Best Interface,” a sharp and incisive critique of screen-based design thinking, Golden Krishna points out that designing digital products has morphed into a discipline of maximizing time and attention on screens, which is often in complete opposition to helping people solve problems or accomplish goals. Design has turned into a science of addiction rather than the art (and science) of empathy and human needs.
Mr. Krishna’s witty, irreverent delivery belies a serious message, and it gets at the heart of this vague concern about where digital culture is headed, and how it feels like we’re headed in the wrong direction. The significant contribution of “The Best Interface” is that it not only identifies the problematic trend -- he’s not the first to talk about it -- but, critically, gives us a vision of the future where this trend is not inevitable, and a template for creating this future. His breakthrough is in doing that thing that in hindsight seems so obvious: reject the premise that digital solutions should start with imagining the corresponding interface, then follow that line of thinking to its natural conclusions.
This book is food for thought, if by “food” you mean a 12-course feast with wine pairing. It is full of heady, simple ideas with practical power, and if you want to be a better designer, product manager, venture capitalist, or human, you’ll want to sit and digest it.
BUT, how often in your personal life have you had to fill out a form that had no business in the action you were taking? How often have you found an app or a screen for something that clearly worked better without it? Clearly somebody hasn't gotten the message. Lots of somebodies.
This is a really well written book. It's enjoyable to read, and works hard to get you to take a step back from an interface/screen/form/menu happy culture. I highly recommend it.
Most recent customer reviews
A great book about our obsession with interfaces.
My notes...Read more