Interface is evil

Professional user interface designers don’t want you to know that interface is evil. They’d rather take it to their graves that interfaces decrease their clients’ profits.

By design, any interface is a bottleneck that limits overall system’s efficiency. Interface steals system’s energy, speed, bandwidth, audience, time, and money. The least efficient kind of interface is the user interface. Unlike hardware and software interfaces, the user interface gives infinite possibilities to human decision and error.

And although deinterfacing is a complicated and expensive process, it makes the system way more efficient.

Mandatory signup is like the King Oedipus’s Sphinx: she asks the riddle and kills all that fail to solve it. She was a trending topic in the ancient times, but now she seems really outdated.

Here’s a simple example: mandatory signup for online stores. Before a client places his order, he has to supply a username and make up a secure password; then verify his e‑mail address, as if making excuses to the system. These actions are meaningless to the user; they delay the purchase, filter out less‑experienced and less‑motivated online shoppers, reduce the store's profits.

Mandatory signup is like the King Oedipus’s Sphinx: she asks the riddle and kills all that fail to solve it. She was a trending topic in the ancient times, but now she seems really outdated.

An efficient online store just sells:

To make it less obvious that the subscribers pay all the time, the operators don’t show their balance on the screen by default. This is an example of how improving the interface would make the system less efficient.

Mobile phone operators don’t offer their subscribers a “Buy talk minutes” nor “Buy a text message” button. When subscribers don’t need to make a decision to buy every time, they make more calls and send more texts. They buy without the interface of buying:

To make it less obvious that the subscribers pay all the time, the operators don’t show their balance on the screen by default. This is an example of how improving the interface would make the system less efficient.
Once registered, users purchase the iTunes and App Store content in one or two clicks. Apple draws the money and bills them automatically.

On the Russian version of our website, contributors don’t sign up to post to “Tips” or our design blog. They enter their email addresses where we send followup comments, and since users want that, they have no incentive to feed us fake addresses. Once a post gets approved by the our moderators, the system automatically creates a personal user page listing his or her publications.

Once registered, users purchase the iTunes and App Store content in one or two clicks. Apple draws the money and bills them automatically.

User interfaces decrease overall system efficiency, that’s why our design bureau strives to get rid of them without compromising functionality. We develop new service scenarios and eliminate obstacles between the goods and the buyers, between vendors and their clients’ money.