The Next Best Interface
May 7, 2015 | Scott Brown
You’ll get no argument from me with Cooper’s perspective that the best interface is no interface. I would, however, suggest that the next best interface is one that is co-opted from an existing one.
As relatively new parents of twins, my wife and I are always looking for better ways to save money. Recently, a co-worker and friend turned me on to Digit. It’s basically an intelligent savings account that actively analyzes your checking account and finds small amounts of money that it can safely set aside for you.
The service texts users daily (or any interval they’ve specified) with balance updates and savings notifications. Want to save more, make a withdrawal, pause savings, or change notification settings? It’s just a text message away. It integrates seamlessly with my life and has actually prompted me to change some behaviors. I enjoy the interactions so much that I’m looking for opportunities to save more. If I’m together enough to bring my lunch to work I send a text message to Digit requesting that it save $10 for me.
What I love most though is the fact that Digit didn’t feel the need to create a native or web app to manage this experience. They simply opted to leverage an existing interface we use constantly. It’s familiar, lightweight, and frictionless. In other words, they recognized that the best experiences often reinforce or leverage existing behaviors.
As we try to move gracefully into a world that’s becoming increasingly connected it goes without saying that we need to minimize complexity by avoiding unnecessary interfaces. But when we do need one we needn’t be so quick to create that original, branded experience. Sometimes the best brand experiences require no branded interaction at all.