All the small things

8 November 2022 Martin Cheetham

The recent reunion of Blink-182, got me thinking about one of their biggest songs. Our digital experience really does come down to the culmination of all the small things.

It’s the small moments of joy we experience when using a digital platform that leads to our overall engagement with it. The small things that save us time. The small things that make us more productive. The small things that make our lives that much simpler, easier, or more fun.

The small things that sometimes may seem innocuous, like facial recognition. Those couple of seconds entering in a password are short, but when you’re accessing your device hundreds (or even thousands) of times each day, multiplied by 365, it starts to add up. Suddenly that small thing is actually a huge thing.

One of the things I’ve grown to love about iOS is how it takes a passcode that has been sent to your device and automatically populates it into the field of the app that’s requesting it. Every time it happens, a smile draws across my face. It’s only saved me a few seconds of switching between apps, and copying and pasting the code, but it makes my user experience SO much better and delights me every single time.

Another ‘small thing’ that I enjoy is Xero’s user authentication. When logging in, I receive a notification on my phone and my watch and can just tap on it affirming that it’s me (and not some devious hacker). I don’t have to open anything. I simply tap. And done. I’m in! It’s quick and simple while giving me the security and peace of mind I need.

“Na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na, na” – Blink-182

Biometrics like fingerprint and facial recognition has completely revolutionised how we engage with our devices. Just as it seems incredible that we used to literally dial numbers to call people, it will soon seem just as crazy that we ever used to have to tap numbers to access content. Tech is constantly being refined to reduce the time we spend getting to the outcome we desire.

Phone calls went from dialing in to an operator to direct your call, to dialing a number on your landline, to pushing buttons, to tapping on your smart device, to the current ‘easiest’ way of saying a name from your phonebook. I guess the next step would be a neuro link where you just think of the person and you’re in contact with them.

I suppose my point to all this, is that understanding the objectives people have when using a digital platform is half the battle. The other half is optimising it so they can get there in the quickest, easiest way possible. It’s all the small things that lead to an amazing experience and has us coming back for more.