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I came across this UI experiment by Darin Senneff a couple of months ago, take a second to go and look at it before reading on. It's a delightful animation of course, but it really stuck with me and I've been thinking a lot about how it made me feel when I first saw it. This week, I was reminded of it when I came across this Swift implementation of a similar design by Chris Goldsby and I want to finally write some thoughts down about it.

I think (or hope!) we all strive to create apps that delight our users and this animation delighted me twice in just a few seconds. First is the eyes following of the cursor of course, but then it actually made me laugh out loud when I saw the hands raise to cover the eyes for the password entry! 😂

A login screen made me laugh... Wait, what? That's amazing.

There was a documentary on the BBC a couple of years ago where Jimmy Carr looked at the science of laughter. I can't find the actual clip I'm thinking about from the show, but he talked about the reasons people laugh and that one of them was humans find unexpected things funny. The raising of the hands to cover the eyes is obviously the unexpected part of this, but it's the first part of the animation where the head follows the cursor that draws you in and makes you so unprepared for the raising of the hands. It's perfect.

Now, I'm not saying we should all be trying to make people laugh in our apps, and I'm definitely not saying that we should all implement cute animals hiding their eyes for our login screens! Please, don't. What I am saying though is that you should always be thinking how a little unexpected moment of delight in your UI can brighten someone's day. That's going to make your app stick in someone's mind, and that can only be a good thing.

Dave Verwer

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