We all (should) know by now using Apple’s examples that it’s all about sweating the details and getting everything. just. right.
This blog post and lesson by Aaron Swartz is a great reminder that details that impede your user tend to overshadow details that delight your user. I think he hit the nail on the head — speaking from personal experience as both a Kindle and an iPad owner.
Bezos must have spent tons of energy getting this stuff right. And he must be sitting there, pissed, that Steve Jobs gets all these laurels while no one ever recognizes the stuff he’s done. But I don’t think that’s because Jobs is a better marketer and showman than Bezos (that’s the easy way out); it’s because the small details that delight get buried under small details that annoy.
That’s the thing about delightful details: they’re not just another thing you can add on top. Unless you sweat the details all the way through the user experience, the ones that delight quickly get drowned out by the ones that constantly annoy. I hope someone at Amazon will take that to heart.