Little things mean a lot

As in life, sometimes it’s the little things that can bring the digital love: Those adorable little eccentricities that can make a website or an app unforgettable and a joy to use. Everyone’s charmed by the UI of Path’s spring-loaded sharing wheel, but the sleep button is far more endearing. Taunted by Facebook and Twitter’s constantly updating, ‘always on’ stream of content, there’s something glorious about admitting defeat and letting the network know you’re checking in to dreamland ’til morning.

New social music site, ThisIsMyJam also has some lovely dimples of originality. There may be thousands of ways to share your music online, but ThisIsMyJam only lets you pick one track every 6 days, and you it’s down to you to select the album artwork. Suddenly you’re able to add a visual layer of meaning to your song choice – so much more personal than #NowListening.

There comes a point, however, where you can have too much of a good thing – a quirk can be attractive and alluring, but no-one really aspires to be considered “quirky”. Google+ is a case in point. Hangouts, Circles, +1’s… it all felt a bit intense. So, when it comes to UI design, we’re trying to remain focused on that certain je ne sais quoi, and not the certifiably insane.

Photo via Campbell’s Flickr.