Companies go to far lengths in order to provide the best user experience possible. As Steve Jobs said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Whenever a human interacts with software, the user interface must make it easy, efficient, and enjoyable to operate a machine in the way which produces the desired result.
Users often get used to a specific layout and find themselves knowing common functions by heart. As an example let’s take a look at Twitter. We all know that when you pull down the screen in the official Twitter app, the tweets refresh. While in other iOS applications, I accidentally caught myself pulling down the screen to refresh the layout.
Obviously it did not work, and there are patents involved with this gesture. But isn’t it crazy that my brain naturally performed that function? Something so little is in retrospect very big. These sort of little big details is what makes software stand out. I personally appreciate when companies stress small factors, just so my life could be easier.
In order to understand more clearly, we collected some examples of little big details from major software applications. Littlebigdetails.com is a tumblr blog that showcases little big user interface details. We collected some great examples of little big details from the site. We hope this roundup will serve as great inspiration for your next development project. Who knows, maybe you will learn something new about the software you use on a regular basis.
Mail on Mac OS X Lion
Mail gives you the option to display the telephone number across your entire screen so it’s easier for you to read and dial it.
When unplugging your headphones from a Mac, it automatically reverts to the most recent volume settings of the new output device.
To select a period of time, you can select a complete month by clicking the month title
If you tap the camera icon in the lock screen of iOS 5.1, it bounces up to encourage you to slide.
Typing ? in Gmail (when not in a input field) gives you a cheat sheet of all available key commands.
When zooming in to the maximum, the zoom in button merges with the street view button indicating that the next zoom level is with street view.
When viewing audio file you are asked to not download the file.
When you’re logged out you get a list of places where you’re still logged in with the option to log out
When typing in the search box, the autocomplete dropdown size will be limited so it doesn’t cover the video.
While in the inbox, the Compose button is red. Then when composing an email, the Send button is red instead.
There are phantom keys in the middle when you split the keyboard in half.
You see this message after you set up your feed and want to view your Feed Stats right away.
Changing the default chat font to Comic Sans makes the smiley sad.
On the unsubscribe page the background & editor’s avatar turns from a blue (sunny day) background to a rainy day when unsubscribing from all newsletters.
The favicon indicates whether the music is playing or paused.
The rating for ‘This is Spinal Tap’ goes up to 11
When a comment is not in your set language, there is an option to translate it.
When scrolling in the app, the clock updates itself with the time of the update you’re looking at
If you try to send yourself a message on Etsy, you get the error message “Talking to yourself again?”
When attempting to sign in with an incorrect password, it reminds you how long ago it was changed.
Removes the spaces from the email input field when you go to the password field.
Accent colour on most visited thumbnails is pulled from the site’s favicon.
There is an ASCII art logo in Tumblr’s HTML source.
When uploading files, it shows percentage in the tab, so you can always see the load progress while surfing other sites.
The Mickey Mouse watch on Apples’ iPod Nano site shows the actual time.
The “map” or “satellite” button” shows the actual area behind it.
The iPhone icon represents the actual location of the Apple headquarters inInfinite Loop Cupertino.
When people “like” your run after you post it on facebook, you will hear cheers and chants in your headphones.
Visual prompt to encourage users to fill in more details about their profile when registering.
When using internet on EDGE network, loading icon in status bar rotates slower than it does on 3G.
When translating a beatbox sound in German, the “Listen” button automatically changes into “Beatbox!”.
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When entering the website, a message in the top bar will appear that the company is able to ship to the country you’re currently in.
Tracks accounts that are viewed by unregistered and logged out users. Then prompts them to sign up and follow those accounts automatically.
The icon adapts when it is displayed in different sizes.
Highrise iPhone app
As it loads your account’s database, it presents you with a playable game of tic tac toe.
The little red close button displays a darker circle inside when your document has unsaved changes.
The “Added” column on spotify fades as it gets older.
BBC Radio 1
The video player volume control goes up to 11.
Click the scissors icon three times and the footer falls down.
Apple iCloud icon golden ratio
In mathematics and the arts, two quantities are in the golden ratio if the ratio of the sum of the quantities to the larger quantity is equal to the ratio of the larger quantity to the smaller one. The figure on the right illustrates the geometric relationship. the golden ratio = 1.61803399
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