We get a steady stream of requests from people who have apps that integrate with one of ours asking to be included on the Extras page (here’s the Basecamp Extras page, for example).

A nice move whenever someone sends one of these: When they include a badge image that’s the right size and text that’s the same length as the other entries on the page. It’s just a little thing but it really makes a difference for the person who has to add that extra. It saves a step and makes the request ready to go “out of the box.”

It’s funny how little things like this can have an impact. When someone sends in a request like this, it comes across as them saying, “I’ve thought about what this request entails for you. And I’m guessing this might be a pain point so I’ve gone to the trouble of making it as easy as possible to take care of.”

We tend to think of usability as applying only to interfaces. But it’s so much more than that. It’s about delivering something that’s fit to be used. That means it’s about writing copy that’s understood the first time. It’s about requests that are as easy to accomplish as possible. It’s about manuals that are one page instead of 40. It’s about code that you can paste in and works right away.

It’s about putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. It’s about looking into the future, foreseeing any potential obstacles, and removing them. And that’s a great way to get people on your side.

Update: Here’s a related example. Someone mocked up a screenshot of a Highrise feature request the other day.


Neat way to “get real” with a feature and show exactly what you have in mind.