Elegant Design, Customer Service: It’s In the Details

I recently purchased an Apple bluetooth keyboard and Magic Mouse for my Mac Mini (which I bought with the intention of using as a home theater media hub, but which gets almost as much use for ‘normal’ computer tasks).

When I first started test driving the Magic Mouse, I happened to be in iTunes, and happened to need to adjust the volume – which is a horizontal slider in the UI. I thought to myself, “This mouse has the ability to do scrolling in any direction – I wonder what happens if I hover over the volume control and swipe right?” Bam. Of course it worked. It’s Apple, and they think of *everything.*

I was truly impressed. And, being an engineer and naturally inquisitive, I took notice that I was impressed – particularly by such a “little thing.” I then realized that I was impressed not despite the fact that this was a little thing, but because it was a little thing. The sort of thing that other user interface and hardware designers might well have missed.

Which brings me to the moral of this story. I work in a consulting firm, and our goal is not merely to meet our customers’ expectations, but to surpass them. In short, to impress them. I think that sometimes we find this hard to do. We need to remind ourselves that sometimes it’s just the little things we do – things that others might have missed – that will make the biggest impression.

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