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Exclude all web/mobile/application/computer software interfaces.

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closed as not a real question by ChrisF, Vitaly Mijiritsky, Charles Boyung, Patrick McElhaney Mar 31 '11 at 13:13

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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I find that soccer balls, mountains, the sea, cats and many women have great interfaces. Pianos - not so much. –  Vitaly Mijiritsky Mar 31 '11 at 7:53
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"I like an escalator because an escalator can never break, it can only become stairs. There would never be an escalator temporarily out of order sign, only an 'Escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience.'" - Mitch Hedberg –  Patrick McElhaney Mar 31 '11 at 13:00
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I like this question, but it doesn't fit the Stack Exchange model. See the FAQ for more information on what is considered a good question. –  Patrick McElhaney Mar 31 '11 at 13:13
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Enter the question police. Exit good conversations. –  Glen Lipka Mar 31 '11 at 14:09
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@Glen - as has been stated many times before - this is not a discussion site. It is a Q&A site. –  Charles Boyung Apr 20 '11 at 14:01
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3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

It's hard to name these things because, as with all well-designed items, we don't think of them as well-designed, because they so naturally fit into our lives. Think about toothbrushes, doorknobs, drawers, light switches (though they could be better, yes). They all have user interfaces (because they can be interacted with by a user) and they all are nearly perfect.

Also, look at musical instruments. They evolved for hundreds of years and have achieved a high level of perfection.

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I'd say either:

  • An ATM machine - although they are a bit more complex nowadays, but back when they only offered withdrawal of cash (not phone topups, deposits etc that they offer now).

  • Pedestrian traffic crossing signals - single button interface with clear feedback to the user as to what to do.

It could be argued that neither of these require training to use and while not 100% instinctive are pretty darn close.

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What's an automated teller machine machine? A machine that creates ATM's? –  Charles Boyung Mar 31 '11 at 13:28
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Ok, I guess I deserved that. ;-) –  JonW Mar 31 '11 at 13:44
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@charles, It's not ATM's, but ATMs –  rahulmax Mar 31 '11 at 19:53
    
@Rahulmax — Not even “ATMs”. “ATM”. –  Nicolas Barbulesco Feb 13 '13 at 4:22
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I like wall-mounted manual PET bottle compactors. The sound of plastic crounching with just a minimal force application while knowing that you did something good for the environment is really satisfactory.

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