LearnHow to use a bit of cleverness to impress your users

Ryan Carson
writes on July 29, 2008

I recently installed Greasemonkey and I noticed a really nice touch that they’ve used when you turn it on or off.

When you click the monkey’s face in the status bar, it switches from a color smiley face, to a black-and-white frown face. I love that. Instead of saying ‘On’ or ‘Off’ they chose a simple and clever visual indicator.

Touches like that show that you’ve taken the extra time to be creative and will in turn, delight your users.

Has anyone else seen something similar that you’d like to share?

0 Responses to “How to use a bit of cleverness to impress your users”

  1. @Brad – Thanks for the tips

    @Prisca – I hadn’t seen that in SilverBack. Sounds like a great idea.

  2. Ryan,

    nice post, always worth to point out the little details,
    I agree with you – makes such a difference 🙂

    I’m sure you must have given SilverBack a test run by now – don’t you just love the gorilla finger tapping while exporting is in progress? That is such a nice touch 🙂

  3. Brad Gignac on July 30, 2008 at 12:59 pm said:


    The icon set you want is Adiumy Green. It was my default icon set when I installed the application. I would imagine the other Adiumy icon sets in various colors would support it as well. I poked around my preferences and found a few things that might be preventing you from seeing the animated dock icon:

    1. Preferences -> Advanced -> Messages – There are some dock icon-related options here you might want to play around with.

    2. Preferences -> Events – This looks like it might be a mess to start changing, but you should probably look here if the first option doesn’t work. I saw some text related to bouncing the dock icon.

  4. I’ve always believed that this kind of feature gives out a powerful message. It’s a gift. Not really *needed*. But something that goes above expectations and makes you feel good. It tells the user that they matter.

    Other examples are: opening your first Apple product to be greeted by clever package design. Or when a restaurant serves your food in an unexpected, but cool manner.

  5. Hey James – which icon set is that? I’m not seeing that on Adium …

  6. James Heaver on July 29, 2008 at 11:01 am said:

    For me, nothing beats Adium (IM) on the Mac.

    The bird icon goes to sleep, wakes up, waves to get your attention.

    Fantastic, beautiful, expressive, only as obtrusive as you want when you get an IM and that little touch of humour.

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