Little Acts of Kindness ft. Modern Consumer Apps
Gmail reminds you of missing attachments. Buffer replaces twitter handles with real names when tweets are shared on other networks. Some payment forms alert you of cards nearing expiry. Search for “golden ratio” , and google presents you with a calculator.
We’ve been enjoying these small but useful “acts of kindness”. I call them as such, because it is acts such as these that make software pleasant to deal with. The makers of such software care and think about their users, and take that extra step beyond what is necessary to improve user experience. Hence the Kindness. The effort involved in providing this experience is little, yet the impact is profound.
We’re experiencing a level up in this area. I’m getting to see many more acts of kindness around me. Here is a sample:
If you’ve bought an SLR from Amazon, and look around for lens any time in the future, Amazon will inform you of its compatibility with your camera right on that page!
If you’ve received a flight ticket to your mailbox, Google - via a service called Now - will help you with additional information: notifications of delay in flight schedule, and reminders for you to leave home at the right time taking into account traffic delays.
Modern consumer apps are leveraging your past interactions with them to improve your experience in the present, or “in context” - using purchase history to help you pick the right lens, email history to help you catch your flight on time.
This is a space that is evolving fast, a space that is dear to me, and I hope we’ll see a lot of software makers take cue and give their users little moments of joy.