What is interface?

I’m reading next lecture from Bureau course of UI Designer. I want to highlight some points from there. Answering to the question what is interface Ilya mentions Jef Raskin’s book and definition from the book:

Interface it’s a way you to interact with a product. Actions you do and return you get.

Every interface has physical personalization. So Ilya introduces his own definition:

Interface it’s the rules of game and their physical personalization.

Ilya says if you want to construct interface it’s not enough just to follow logic. You need to know more, and rely on knowledge about principles of psychology, memory, how we interpret visual forms.

Humanity or make interfaces for people

One of main rules of building interfaces is – “Interfaces for people and not people for interfaces”. From my experience people see that problems only first time. Then they get used to it, and don’t see other options. Other options make them afraid, because we don’t like to learn something new, that’s how our brain work.

Machines should be in pain

I heard that principle before, when we talked with a friend of mine. He is a developer and his motivation was the same as Ilya mentions. If an interface able to make people’s life easier than do it. For example any input masks, or something that allow you to not do additional actions. An online store shows all products even if they don’t have it at the moment, I would understand that in store with rare products, and it looks awkward in stores like Amazon.

User’s data priceless

My preferred destination of daily train rides. You can find this principle in Google search – “You have search those term before”. Some online stores show me what products I opened before. iTunes previously had very good option – 25 most listened tracks.

Technology should be invisible

Some filters looks like raw SQL query. Designers (or developers) ask users to make this query. Instead they would ask only one field and search that term in all fields. Yes, that will cost more memory or CPU, but according to previous principle it’s a role of machines. Also, I’d like to add I think in some scenarios filters with separated fields more convenient than just one input. Like I want to find a hotel in Booking, and I know name of the hotel, but there several hotels with exact same name throughout world. Let me choose also a country and hotel name.

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