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

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

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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

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 would add to that list hand tools like an axe, hammer, or knife, things that have been around for hundreds or even thousands of years and have been perfected over time. – Old Pro Feb 21 '17 at 8:49

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
  • @Rahulmax — Not even “ATMs”. “ATM”. – Nicolas Barbulesco Feb 13 '13 at 4:22

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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