Show Me the Details - #89

We need to roll with the punches.

Missing a deadline is never a point of pride for me and this may not be the first late post but it's definitely the latest. I'm sorry. My excuse has been the massive adjustment of moving to Brooklyn this past weekend. I don't have to explain the nonsense of moving (you've probably been there), but besides the physical driving and moving my life to another city and state, it's been a giant mental shift too.

What I expected was a smooth one-shot migration of my stuff inside a new set of walls. Sure, there would be some new habits to make, food to buy, and transportation to chart out, but it wouldn't take all day. Maybe a couple of hours and shopping trips.

Details cannot be underestimated. They find their way into anything and, from some angles, they're everything.

Last Tuesday, Squarespace sent me to the Usability Week conference "Copy Tactics and Optimization" in Times Square. It was one of dozens of seminars for industries interested in improving their user experience. Being a fan of words, Copy Tactics blew me away with the real world examples of how changing bits of text we take for granted every day can move mountains. It is the small difference between Facebook's former Become a Fan button and the ubiquitous Like button. One simple change to one simple button made the entire experience of the social network that much more engaging.

The idea that one word could change just how the world interacts with something as simple as a website bleeds into everything else. The way we speak, the way we eat, the way we talk to ourselves - they are all important and they all can be morphed. Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden famously said, "It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen." Master swordsman Miyamoto Musashi wrote, "From one thing, know ten thousand things." Catherine Toole made it apparent when she dropped this Jan Carlzon gem at the end of the Copy Tactics seminar: "You cannot improve one thing by 1000% but you can improve 1000 little things by 1%." It is one of the single most empowering ideas I've been lucky enough to grasp, and it always helps to be reminded. Never take the details for granted and know change is just one small step away.

Until next time...

I explode into space.