The Magic of Small Things and Continued Iteration


It strikes me each time I reach my desk at work. Something is missing. Something core to my daily use of applications and making the rounds through the social networking sphere and the web. Instantly, I realize my experience is less...well...magical. A couple of months back, I recieved an Apple Magic Mouse as a birthday gift. Since then, it has served as a powerful reminder of the power of offering a thoughtfully designed ecosystem to users and of the need to pay attention to even the smallest parts of that environment. Companies that offer extensive ecosystems are empowered to shape both hardware and software touch points in powerfully integrated ways. No doubt, volumes have been written about how Apple has been bringing thoughtful enhancements to their user experience for years. But there is something else inspiring here that has to do with focus and iteration. Sometimes the folks in Cupertino manage to release things that are not accompanied by a special press event in San Francisco or Cupertino but have deep impact on our day to day user experiences nonetheless. The "magic" of the Magic Mouse strikes me as one of those thoughtful additions that has slipped into the offering. While I don't use all the features on offer by the Magic Mouse, I find continually that just having the ability to scroll through deep web pages with the flick of the index finger is magic enough. This kind of synergy between hardware and software is something that many are admirably striving for these days. Sometimes powerfully "sticky" parts of the user experience do indeed come in small packages. Many are made possible through continued iteration focused on making key touch points as good as they can be as new technologies become available. In a world where new to market offerings are so highly valued, it serves us well to click "pause" and pay attention, to double-click if you will, in order to recognize when outstanding incremental innovations do come along. Here's to paying attention to the little things. Indeed there is magic in the details.