I attended the Future of Web Apps today, and among the speakers was Kevin Rose from Digg.com. Kevin said nothing particularly revelatory, but it was interesting to hear what he felt was important for Digg’s development.
It got me thinking about a key to Digg’s success — how the fundamental behavior on the site of “digging” a story, is done with a single click.
All you need to click is “digg it,” and your action has ramifications in the system. It’s as close to “frictionless” as a UI can be. Hot Or Not taught us this lesson a few years ago.
When you click the radio button next to a number, Hot or Not reloads the page with a new photo for you to rate. Every click thus gives us two results — a rating for what you just saw, and a new image to look at. It’s about as Pavlovian an experience as I can imagine. Users are like rats hitting the bar for more food.
Of course, Amazon famously figured this out…
“1-Click” is so powerful they patented it! And actually does a lot to encourage sales — with the click of your mouse, a book will be delivered to your home.
Reducing the user behavior to a single click is very powerful. It becomes an interesting exercise for any product designer — can I sum up what’s important in a single click of a button? George Eastman hit upon this over 100-years ago:
“You press the button, we do the rest.” And with that, consumer photography was born.