Lasers are instruments that may enhance the surgeons ability to perform surgery. Many medical lasers sit unused. Lack of use is associated with 'user unfriendliness'. Nurses and surgeons often cite factors such as complexity, location, and types of controls, and content of displays. Other factors such as culture-ethnology and its relationship to command words and symbols, affect understandability of controls, displays and user friendliness. Laser designers and engineers must analyze the interaction between laser users and products. They must fully understand the training limitations and unique working environments (surgical specialty) of operators. Laser design and operation must coincide with specific needs and expectations of the nurses and physicians. Poor design and engineering compromises results in non use of expensive instrumentation, products which are ineffective for clinical use, and could potentially increase the risk of possible injury to patients and staff. This paper discusses the design and operation of medical laser systems. The advantages and disadvantages of several laser systems will be presented. User interfaces for controls - color, function, touch activation, labels and size, sound cues, laser activation, type and amount of feedback information during operation; design of storage for accessories, and need for features such as pulsing, and milliwatts will be discussed. We will present what we consider to be an ideal laser system.