Designing a web site or an application always makes me feel great… doing all the User Experience Work before and the Implementation Part after really generates me and also in my opinion make me feel great and totally creative… and during those years of work and of being an user, I had to possibility to build an idea… “Small and Hidden Ideas makes your Creation Great“…
Now it’s time to explain this quote that can be in some ways criticized and also not easy to understand. When you design something you usually start drawing the main features, how they work, how people interact with them and so on, then different and smaller features are added, usually things that are not the main core of the application, but that can permit with their integration to make the user’s work more productive and also make is save some time… anyway more you simulate the paths that the user could do or the possible needs of the users on different scenarios, better the application could have a better and wide success (but that could be a theme for an another post).
Between different products that do the same main things (Digg or Mixx for example) the differences stay on the different and smaller features that they have, that is in some way obvious but in some ways the best features are the ones hat stays on the side and that are in some way hidden… or for better saying not shown on the first page. That can be a success because when an user discovers something that he things is great and that wasn’t shown he is happy and surprised and that brings him closer to being affectionate to you and to your product.
For example I have discovered some options and features on the “Address Book” of Mac something that I really needed and that before I was surviving only by circumventing the problem doing some fix on names and companies. Then I have discovered some possibilities and I’m happy and I really love more that software. On the simple design of that application I really enjoyed that discoveries after months that I was thinking that that was a great software, but now I feel more bounded and more in need of that application.
When you design or create something use also as marketing the “Surprise Effect“, in this way people entering on your service for the first time are going to be surprised about the unexpected features and they can create the idea on their head that “There could be something more and great…“… The feature would be used and people would tell people what to do and also what they discovered, that they were attracted by this new services with some new features but that they loved some little features that weren’t advertised and that now they can’t live without… I can’t tell you the features that your application or web service should have (I can only if it would be a consultation 😀 ), because there is the need to do some studies and understand what people could need and appreciate.
Anyway that post is not saying to create and make everything not usable in a way to hid all the best features so to make the users surprised, the product as to be usable, easy to understand and so on, but some side features can be a little hidden or not really advertised in a way to surprise the user. That what I think in some way ad also that worked for me as an user lots of times… anyway keep designing easy and original interactions… they are one of the secrets of success.