Details Matter – Facebook vs. Google Plus

This week, we had a lot of spirited discussion about the initial experience people will have using our as-yet-only-internally-named project and one of my mantras for the week was “we are absolutely going to have to get the details right”.  There’s a difficult line to walk with “don’t worry about the stuff that doesn’t matter” or “don’t sweat the small stuff” and “getting the details right”.  And I don’t know what that is.

So I’ve been keeping an eye out for examples – and one of the examples this week was Facebook vs. Google+.  I shared my previous post in both services – and here’s how each service parsed the shared link.

Here’s Facebook:

Here’s Google+

Is this small stuff? I don’t know, I don’t think so. In the context of both services, you know what you are getting in terms of design.  And both are functional.

But detail-wise I think that Facebook gets this right.  It doesn’t repeat the title, it doesn’t add what is likely an extraneous (particularly if you click through) post date, author string, or comments indicator coming out of the wordpress post html.  It appears that Facebook understands a little bit more about wordpress’s html – and just that little bit extra makes Facebook’s implementation more approachable and less confusing with the initial impression.

This is the best example this week of where my thinking has been with “details matter”.

Quote of the Day: Steven Frank

Steven Frank gets the quote of the day

People don’t want FEATURES. They’ll tell you they do until they’re blue in the face. But what they actually want is ease-of-use, and solutions to real-world problems

Bonus quote:

A 34-company committee couldn’t create a successful ham sandwich, much less a mobile application suite. It’s going to be some half-baked turd

It’s about the GPhone, nee “Android” – but the quotes are highly relevant to all kinds of engineering design of both software and hardware.

[p.s. I’m not echoing this because I think it might be true about Android. I don’t know what to think about Android. But the quotes in the context of creating software products are absolutely correct]