Experience Design

SxSW Day 3 – The Best Interface is No Interface

The third day of SxSW started off with a provocative session given by Golden Krishna (website) on the concept of No UI and the invisible interface. On the surface, I really enjoyed the presentation and the material that Golden covered, but I didn’t “fall in love” with his argument as many others did. In fact, since the presentation several blog posts have been written that argue against the concept of No UI which aligns to my way of thinking.
Scott Berkun – http://scottberkun.com/2013/the-no-ui-debate-is-rubbish/
Timo  Arnall – http://www.elasticspace.com/2013/03/no-to-no-ui
Below are my notes from the session, please notes taken with my handy iPad mini and Evernote.
Golden Krishna – The Best Interface is No Interface #noui hash tag

  • Lots to celebrate with technology these days
    • Big tube tvs to paper thin screen
  • There is a terrible trend in tech though
  • He is a ux designer – works at Samsung innovations
  • His goal as a designer to solve problems
  • As an industry we are moving away from solving problems.
  • 40 years ago we offered people the worse user experience, command line
  • Then xerox created a desktop GUI
  • Our love of the digital interface has gotten out of console it’s become the answer to everything
  • Build a better car? Slap a UI on it
  • How do you build a better hotel experience? Slap a UI on it
  • Somewhere along the way we equates the user experience to the user interface.
  • We are surrounded by screens – greatest minds are working on ads at Facebook
  • Wasn’t that long when our life was filled with paper and we damed for a paperless world. Now we are should be dreaming for a screen less future
  • The best interface is no interface
    • Embrace typical process instead of screens
      • The simple processes of the past has become complicated by out new devices and screens.
      • 12 step process to unlocking a car when using a mobile app
      • The user only is involved in 2 of the 12 steps. The rest all rely on the digital interface
      • The keyless car key is a better solution thanks to radio signals
      • We think the viper app is good because we are used to looking at wireframe and prototypes.
      • We forget the context which some of these apps will be used in like carrying a cooler to the truck and using a sensor to open the truck rather than using an interface
      • Good user experiences isn’t about good screens by good experiences
    • Leverage computers instead of catering to them
      • We think that we serve computers, but computers should serve us
      • Petzl reactive head light – after 40 years of making headlights they chose not to slap a UI on it. They wanted to solve a problem.
      • The light is reactive based on what you are looking at. When looking at a map it dims and away brighter
      • When computers serve us they help us safe lives.
      • Computers should do things we don’t want to do, they should do what we want to do.
      • Goodyear is creating a tire that will refill with air while driving using sensors and small compressors
    • Create a system that adapts to individuals
      • Data science is working on this in ways like better ads or LinkedIn connections.
      • Data science can do so much more in the consumer space
      • Nest – it’s magic is that it learns and thinks about us. As we adjust it learns about when we wake up and go to sleep and it becomes part of the background is it better predicts our needs
      • Systems can learn to help us before we know we needed help
      • IBM put sensors on rugby players to monitor their health and injuries before the yogurt happen. The players didn’t need to download a new app or anything.
    • The best interface is no interface on cooper
      • People have been critical of the UI for a long time.
      • Automatic solutions – people get scared by this idea. These are hard to get right and when they are right they become embedded in our lives
      • Automatic transmission is a great example of getting this concept right – by 2009 91% of all cars had auto transmission.
      • Failure – it will occur and you will need to deal with it. Data helps predict, avoid, and recover from failures.
      • Norman – the problem with the interface is that it is an interface itself.
    • No UI worksheet
      • Identify typical process
      • Use sensors to learn about the context and environment
      • Adapt to individuals using data and analytics
      • Example problem – someone who forgets to take their medication at 3pm everyday
  • Nointerface.com – samples and practice for this way of thinking. Slides, video, and PDF of essay available

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Brad Nunnally

Brad has been practicing the craft of User Experience for the past 4 years. During that time he has helped clients in the financial, health care management, public utilities, and pharmaceutical management industries. He's provided them with deep insight into their customers and users, and designed engaging experiences that were catered directly for their customers and users. As a Senior User Experience Consultant at Perficient, he's performed a variety of UX activities that allows him to build an empathic link to a variety of people that directly informs the designs he creates. These activities cover the full spectrum of research, modeling, design, and testing. Brad's passion in User Experience Design is centered around the modeling of data gained from user research and the creation of interactive prototypes and wireframes. He's mentored and presented on these two aspects of User Experience Design to people around St. Louis, MO and across the country.

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