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Injecting humanity into your product

I'm really loving the way some sites and apps pay attention to the fact that an interface is a dialogue and that there are real people with real needs on the other end of the GUI. Two examples that stand out this week are:

1) Think Vitamin (from the folks at Carsonified)

Ryan Carson and the team behind the Future of {Insert Topic} Conferences drop little nuggets throughout the interface that show they're thinking about their customers. Such a simple little thing, no heavy development required, not much production work at all, can do so much. They don't have to tell me I'm rad, but they do. Nicely done.

(notice the blue chat bubble coming out of the weird skull illustration telling me why i'm rad)


2) Kayak

After searching for a flight, and setting up my fare alert, I was curious about their travel check lists they were promoting on my dashboard. I clicked on the "Business" checklist, and the last item in the list was "TPS Reports." They got me. So simple once again. A humorous cult movie reference poking fun that the business world was the perfect way to inject some humanity into a system that could just as easily be all about spitting out row after row of boring tabular data. A+ guys.

Kayak includes "TPS reports" in their default business travel checklist

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