Google – It’s the Little Things

I love being pleasantly surprised when seeing that a company made that little extra effort in one of their products. In this case it was GMail, used through the browser (rather than an external email client).

I just needed to fire off a quick e-mail with a PDF attached. I started the e-mail off with, “Attached is…”, composed the remainder of the email, and hit “Send”. I was ready to go on about my business, but was unexpectedly prompted with the following:

"Did you mean to attach files?"

Did you mean to attach files?

It’s not rocket surgery by any means to parse the body of the email looking for a particular term (or terms), and then verifying that there is an attachment. It’s not the ability to determine that perhaps there should be an attachment with the outgoing email, but rather the fact that somebody took the time to care enough to put that in.

Having used email clients from Outlook (various versions), Apple’s Mail, Thunderbird, and others, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sent off an email that was meant to have an attachment, only to follow it up with another email stating, “Here’s the attachment that was meant to be sent with my previous email”. I’ve also been on the receiving end of such emails, so I know that in this particular case, it’s not just me (a refreshing change).

Kudos to Google for putting forth that extra little effort to ensure a pleasant user experience. It really just goes to show that it’s not necessarily about being revolutionary. It’s about giving people the features and functionality that they need.