Little Delights and Why It Pays to Sweat The Small Stuff

My first boss drummed into me the importance of paying great attention to detail in everything I did. But little details, he told me, are especially important when working on designs for products and communications materials.

So it was great delight that I was recently introduced to a lovely site called Little Big Details, which houses a curated list of subtle but wonderful design features from our online world.

Take, for example, this from the Mailchimp site when a new user tries to sign up:

Mailchimp Evil Twin Warning

Similarly, Geeklist will nudge you to use a more secure, complex password by helpfully pointing out how little time it would take a computer to crack a simple password you’ve suggested using.

And then there’s the rather lovely way the Facebook notifications icon looks different depending on where in the world you are:

Facebook Notifications Globe

…as did the passport and Kindle device on the Amazon website depending on your location.

And who could fail to be mildly impressed that the Windows 8 Calculator expresses your measurement conversions in terms of ‘bathtubs’?

2014-03-05 22_18_32-Windows-8-Calculator.jpg - Windows Photo Viewer

Importantly though, this stuff matter because it really works. Countless behavioural science studies have shown how little delights can positively affect our mood and sense of wellbeing. Spotting a nicely designed feature that makes us smile (even if only inwardly) can do great things for our feeling of belonging and engender positive attitudes to the creators.

So give this a try: next time you’re tweaking a feature of your product or service, think about a simple, small, pleasurable delight you could add to make someone’s day just a little bit better. It may be easier than you think.