Synopses & 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 appliances, and maybe even on your face. Average smartphone users check their phones 150 times a day, responding to the addictive buzz of Facebook or emails or Twitter.
Are you sick? There’s an app for that! Need to pray? There’s an app for that! Dead? Well, there’s an app for that, too! And most apps are intentionally addictive distractions that end up taking our attention away from things like family, friends, sleep, and oncoming traffic.
There’s a better way.
In this book, innovator Golden Krishna challenges our world of nagging, screen-based bondage, and shows how we can build a technologically advanced world without digital interfaces.
In his insightful, raw, and often hilarious criticism, Golden reveals fascinating ways to think beyond screens using three principles that lead to more meaningful innovation. Whether you’re working in technology, or just wary of a gadget-filled future, you’ll be enlighted and entertained while discovering that the best interface is no interface.
"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
Over thirty years ago, something remarkable happened. Researchers at a Xerox lab laid the foundations for the first mainstream graphical user interface, which took the experience of using a computer a galactic leap forward. All of a sudden we were able to drag and drop. Point and click. The powerful tools of the computer were more accessible to everyone.
But sadly, today things have taken a turn for the worse. The technology industry’s love for the digital interface has grown out of control, and it’s diverting us away from meaningful solutions for most people. How many of us really need to read tweets on our refrigerator doors? Or Facebook updates within the speedometer of our cars? How many of us think that what made our hotel stay incredible was a 55” touchscreen in the lobby with USA Today headlines?
There’s a better path: No UI. Expanded from one of the most shared design essays of the last decade, and one of the most popular talks at design conferences around the world, this book will explain why the best interface is no interface. It’ll walk you through how you can practice the new, radically simple design methodology for incredible technology that Google executive Eric Schmidt has described as the future of technology. The results can have a profound impact on your design process and on our lives.
Our love for the digital interface is out of control.
Expanded from one of the most shared design essays ever written, and one of the most popular talks at innovation conferences around the world, this entertaining and visionary book offers a compelling new way to see the future of technology.
Digital interfaces today consume our lives. The average adult today spends over eight hours a day staring at a screen, and some apparent technological innovators are hoping for more. They’re making screens for your wrist, face, and car; and creating apps that try to get you addicted so they can boost their advertising revenue. Innovation has become Facebook updates inside cars, refrigerators that send tweets, and garbage cans that show us the current weather.
There’s a better path.
In this raw and delightful critique, learn the fascinating ways to think beyond screens using three principles that can lead us toward more meaningful innovation. Whether you’re working in the technology industry or just concerned about our technological future, you’ll find this insightful and creative book captivating.
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.
Table of Contents
Why do phones ring?
01. Introduction - Why did you buy this book?
02. Screen-based thinking - Let’s make an app!
03. Slap an interface on it! - Slimmer TVs! Faster computers! And an overlooked epidemic of awful.
04. UX ≠ UI - I make interfaces because that's my job, bro
05. Addiction UX - Click here to cut down your belly fat by using this one weird tip
06. Distraction - Will you marry me? Sorry, I was sending Alice a text, what'd you say?
07. Screen Insomnia - I love staring into a light bulb! Me too!
08. The Screenless Office - The best interface is no interface
PRINCIPLE 1: EMBRACE TYPICAL PROCESSES INSTEAD OF SCREENS
09. Backpocket apps - This app goes perfectly with my skinny jeans
10. Lazy rectangles - That’s a great wireframe. We nailed it. We’re going to make a billion dollars.
PRINCIPLE 2: LEVERAGE COMPUTERS INSTEAD OF SERVING THEM
11. The World's First 3D Chapter - Your password must be at least 18,770 characters and cannot repeat any of your previous 30,689 passwords
12. Machine Input - I saved your life, and I didn't even need a password
13. Analog and Digital Chores - I know, I suck at life.
PRINCIPLE 3: ADAPT TO INDIVIDUALS
14. Computing for One - You’re spécial
15. Proactive Computing - From "Hello, Robot" to "Thank you, Robot"
16. Change - You hate this book? Thank you.
17. Privacy - The machine will “learn” about me? No thanks.
18. Automatic - Automatic solutions are terrible. Look at Clippy!
19. Failure - What happens when it all falls apart?
20. Exceptions - Less is sometimes more
21. The Future - Wow, this is boring