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Software Features By Surprise

This is a miniscule point, but the things I like about the features rolled out by sites like Google, flickr, etc, is that sometimes they just slip something in like a surprise… the biddy post I made about the Google Home page adding tabbed navigation caught my eye, only because I whizzed by the page a few times, and saw something that was not there maybe a week or so ago:

Add-A-Tab

It was tiny, and begged me to click, and explore. There was not a big ad campaign on TV (“Google Has Added minty fresh TABS”), not a big product launch hawked by PR folks (Announcing Google Home Page 2003 v 2.34! Now More Navigable!!!!), no articles in geek magazines…. they just slipped it in. What does that say?

I cannot say exactly why I like it, but it feeds me need to explore, to notice what is different. I like to be slightly enticed to do this, maybe not all the time, but surely some of the time.

But maybe think about this in the work that you do, be it graphics, teaching, writing web pages, positing blogs, writing lessons etc… how droll is it to stick to the same old same old? Why not feed the exploratory need? (I think we all have it to some degree, it has just been squashed out of us by the end of adolescence, for those unlike me who have completed the process…). Sneak a little note in a flickr image. Write an obscure link that does not directly say where it goes… yes, create your own tiny rabbit holes.

Surprise ’em in small ways. Make ’em guess, think… a little bit. You might be surprised yourself about the impact.

Small Things Loosely Not Mentioned?

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.