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Deep Delight Lies Beneath the Surface

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When no feedback= good feedback

I’ve just spent an entire workweek on things no one will really ever see. Nobody will notice it, people will just use it.

If you’ve ever struggled to make a dropdown menu drop down, or just get an image to upload and save, you might know the feeling.

You can get stuck creating what seems an invisible part of an app for hours or even days — and the end-user will only notice it if it doesn’t work. No one is going to say ‘I love your render speed’’. For these features, no feedback is great feedback! The less said the better.

Deep delight can only be achieved in functional, reliable, and usable interfaces. ~ Therese Fessenden [1]

Make it work, then make it work better

For most products, there’s a baseline of core features that a user would just expect and take for granted. For Letter, the app I am creating, those are things like ‘autosave’ and ‘undo/redo history’.

These functional features disappoint rather than delight. It either works, or it doesn’t.

At the same time, these parts can be really hard to make! For me, working on Undo History was also really boring, as it’s not visual. Unlike cooler features like Adaptive Images, it’s less interesting to share and talk about.

If you find yourself working on a part you don’t enjoy, remember these are more important than the fancier features, as the app needs to be reliable before it can be delightful.

[1] A Theory of User Delight by Therese Fessenden

I love your render speed: the unseen work that makes it all work


Deep Delight Lies Beneath the Surface was originally published in Prototypr on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.