QuickTip Sundays: In-and-Out Burger And Expert Vs. Simple Interfaces

Can you spot the expert interface?

Can you spot the expert interface?

In-and-Out Burger is famous for its hidden menu — there’s a bunch of options you can ask for like grilled cheese that aren’t listed anywhere on their physical store menu which has the basics of basics: hamburger, cheeseburger, and double double.

This is an excellent example of a expert vs. simple interface. For the people that are new to In-and-Out, it couldn’t be easier, because the counter person asks if you want certain items, thus simplifying the process for the person ordering. If you go there more often and are an expert at ordering what you want at the restaurant, you’ll know that you can ask for extra pickles (which I do), or extra cheese, or even ketchup and mustard instead of the sauce.

This is an important distinction, because this shows that they have the customer in mind: they hide all the hard interfaces to get what you want, and keep it simple for the customer. If the customer really wants to delve deep into ordering a more customized product i.e. a hamburger with what they want, they have to learn it as an expert, but they’ll get exactly what they want.

It’s the same as the Mac OS X interface, because under the hood, it’s really Free BSD, but all of the nasty command line issues are hidden for most users like me. If the user really wants to tweek it, they can learn Free BSD.

What are some expert vs. simple interfaces that you see outside of computer systems?