Innovative Features We Take for Granted

Photo by cloudzilla from Flickr used under Creative Commons

So, our changes to the internal instance of WebCenter have been live for a week now, and the feedback so far has been very positive.

We did get our first rant yesterday, but it seemed to be frustration about the loss of an OOTB environment for demos. It’s Q4, so everyone in sales is running hard and fast.

Plus, our environment isn’t really meant for demos, but anyway, I like negative feedback because it often produces really useful information, once you get past the emotional response.

One feature I neglected to mention that has garnered kudos from users is infinite scroll.

If you’ve used Brizzly, you know what I mean. Infinite scroll automatically loads new content when you hit the end of the page, and it keeps on doing that until you stop scrolling.

No more pagers or load more functions. It just keeps serving up new content, until you get bored/are satisfied or it reaches the end.

Infinite scroll is extremely useful for activity-based systems like Twitter, Facebook, Connect and WebCenter because of the high volume of objects the app needs to retrieve and serve up to the user.

Infinite scroll is a truly frictionless feature because you don’t even notice it after the first time you use it, which means you take it for granted.

It’s also a feature you’ll find yourself wishing other apps had implemented.

I realized this after Peter called it out as his favorite new feature. Features like this are hard to identify because they become lost in the overall experience, that is until you lose them.

One consumer example I recall vividly is the lack of search in Google Reader, which I use all the time and absolutely could not live without now. I don’t know how I used Reader without search for so long.

I’m not sure where infinite scroll originated. I saw it first on Brizzly, but regardless, thanks to whomever came up with that innovation. Creating truly frictionless features is super difficult because you’re challenging deeply-ingrained, learned behavior, and often, people will resist innovation simply because of their past investment.

Anyway, share some examples of truly frictionless innovations in the comments.

AboutJake

a.k.a.:jkuramot

8 comments

  1. Ah, right you are. Reader has always had it, and I didn't even remember, proving my point about taking the best features for granted. I guess I compartmentalized Brizzly b/c of Twitter or something.

    Good catch.

  2. Ah, right you are. Reader has always had it, and I didn't even remember, proving my point about taking the best features for granted. I guess I compartmentalized Brizzly b/c of Twitter or something.

    Good catch.

  3. Glad you like it so far. Tagging is in WebCenter and has been for a while. We just hid the ability to tag things. Rating is coming in the form of likes in later versions.

  4. Glad you like it so far. Tagging is in WebCenter and has been for a while. We just hid the ability to tag things. Rating is coming in the form of likes in later versions.

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