At D.Construct 08, Matt Biddulph and Matt Jones talked about Delighters. A delighter is a term coined by the Hotel industry for an item that delights a customer and increases the chance of them staying again (more info on delighters here). Items such as Plush Towels, an arrival gift or free movies could all be delighters, but Matt referred to the placement of a rubber duck in the bath tub on a rainy day as his example. However during the conference Thayer tweeted this perfect example of one.
Dopplr (Matt and Matt’s application) uses these Delightors on various parts of their site. The ones they talked about included the logo changing colour depending on your travels, the favico also changing, and your comparison to an animal in terms of speed.
I have often seen high attention to detail as a delightor. I remember in MGS2 on the PS2 you could shoot the ice bucket and watch the ice cubes scatter on the floor, something incredibly rare on a console of the power of the PS2. Better still the ice cubes melted, and even better the melted faster the further away from one another they were!!! This had nothing to do with the game’s plot and was purely for fun, but it made the game all the more impressive.
Computer games seem to have been at it for ages. I remember in the old Sonic games, that if you left your character still for about 30 seconds they would start tapping their feet, now days it’s a lot more complex, but something like GTA is littered with little extras they add that level of depth and ‘delight’. Even the PS2 it’s self allowed you to rotate the little PS2 logo so it was the correct way up when you stood the PS2 on it’s side, something almost no one noticed.
It is often rare to find delightors on the web, although they do exist. Aside from Dopplr’s delightors, here are some I have found:
- The header of Dunstan’s blog changing with the weather
- Live searching, again on Dunstan’s blog (this was a log time ago)
- Zooming with the mouse wheel on google maps
- The parallax effect on the Silverback holding page
- The little nuke animation when you delete an image on organize
- Google’s event logos
- Auto Save on Gmail
I love these little delighters, and would love to add them into some of my projects. Let me know if you know of others and I’ll add them to the list!