Tiny Wins (joelcalifa.com)

over 5 years ago from , Senior Product Designer at GitHub


  • Joel Califa, over 5 years ago

    Hey everyone. This is the first article I've written in over a year and a half (!!). Gonna follow this up with some more content in the coming weeks, and hopefully get back in the swing of things.

    I'd love to know what you think!

    21 points
    • Dylan SmithDylan Smith, over 5 years ago

      Gonna follow this up with some more content in the coming weeks, and hopefully get back in the swing of things.

      Famous last words.

      21 points
    • Brandon ZellBrandon Zell, over 5 years ago

      Love your article and the concept of Tiny Wins. Probably the biggest take away for me was that you can't rely on your users to bubble up these potential Tiny Wins. That's a great point and I appreciate you talking about how to identify Tiny Wins too. "Tiny Wins are often shortcuts." Ah! (lightbulb)

      One comment I guess I'll share: You mentioned Netflix's "Skip Intro" feature as a Tiny Win, but then later said that Tiny Wins should be low effort and take a short amount of time. Is that really true of Netflix's implementation of that feature? Just made me think that sometimes a Tiny Win might appear to be a simple small feature on the client side, even if there was a lot of effort involved. What do you think?

      5 points
      • Joel Califa, over 5 years ago

        That's a great point, I have no idea what the implementation looked like (I assume lots of manual data entry but Netflix is king of ML so go figure). The reception was mindblowing, though, regardless of time spent. It's definitely worth figuring out an appropriate threshold of effort to expected impact. I'm sure "low" means something different to every org.

        2 points
        • Brandon ZellBrandon Zell, over 5 years ago

          Ah, that's true. 1. Factor in expected impact. 2. "low effort" is relative to every org. Good insight. Thanks!

          0 points
    • A. N.A. N., over 5 years ago

      Design is, definitely, on the details.

      0 points
  • Emanuel S.Emanuel S., over 5 years ago

    Joel you are an example for us all.

    Also, nobel prize!

    7 points
  • Joe Lyx, over 5 years ago

    Love your writings man, thank you.

    1 point
  • Mattan IngramMattan Ingram, over 5 years ago

    The GitHub PR favicon updates are such a natural part of the product and are so useful, love this stuff!

    1 point
  • Brandon SBrandon S, over 5 years ago

    Big fan of your work! One of my design mentors always told me the first 99% are easy, it's that last 1% that really makes an amazing product. Thanks for the great article.

    1 point
  • Matt C, over 5 years ago

    Great article, and I especially loved the Chrome noise icon example. Identifying and muting annoying tabs has become such a natural part of browsing now that I can hardly remember life without it.

    I think these small bits of polish are the types of stories that too often get left in the backlog by most companies. They're what make up that tough-to-describe "it just feels right" sensation that you'll find in something made by Google, Apple, etc.

    1 point
  • Johannes Neumeier, over 5 years ago

    Great article and very nice examples. Tiny wins require a large baseline, though, for them to pay off. Not to say it is not worth doing them, but if your project does not have enough reach, there is often neither the data nor incentive to discover those types of details.

    0 points
  • Phil K.-T.Phil K.-T., over 5 years ago

    Great write up, I've recently dived back in to helping with an open source project and have seen the value of tiny wins in getting developers to help you out more with your design suggestions.

    0 points
  • Ted McDonald, over 5 years ago

    Really cool case study. I was recently thinking about the little things that make me love some products over others, so it was pretty awesome to see you write about your work!

    0 points