Delightful user-experience

Building a delightful user-experience.

I have a Nokia Lumia 521 and among all the features I like about it - there’s always a shortage of apps. I talked previously about how that’s not a big problem and it’s only a matter of time before windows phones get serious traction. I also really like twitter, and I use it a lot on my nexus tablet. After realizing that there was an offical twitter app for windows, I instantly got it and started trying it out. Today I saw a very interesting feature and this is truly one of those moments that define the utility of being delightful. So this is the twitter app on my phone right now. Looks nothing out of the ordinary, but the devil is in the details:

See on the Nexus tablet where the screen space is larger, when I hit the retweet button, I am given a popup box to retweet or quote. This makes perfect sense where we have adequate screen space, you can give the user more options. This changes on the phone where the real-estate is already limited, here hitting the retweet button does exactly that much: Retweet, no popups or anything like that to quote. Staright, to the point, and absolutely delightful. The feature doesn’t need any input from me and I can keep browsing through my feed to find more interesting content.

On my twitter feed, there’s generally a lot of information at any given time. I star the interesting content and using IFTTT I get an email for any links I’ve favorited for later on to read when I’m on my computer. The lesson of the story is that making one button do entirely different things when I’m on different is a great lesson in creating a delightful user-experience. As a designer, focusing on user-experience matters a lot but the best way to find what makes good habit-forming products is to make the user-experience as weightless as possible. In this context, being weightless for me means to not have to stop browsing through my feed when given a popup. The twitter app devs understand that so well and have done an excellent job at it.

There’s a great deal to learn from this: Of course it’s easier to make one button do a thing, as developers we want to keep things consistent but just try to think how would you make someone not lose their focus as they are doing something. That’s the key.