Small Human Touches

Read time: 2 mins

Does anyone like waiting in line?

There is someone in front you and someone behind you. You’re stuck.

I remember standing in line at Time Warner Cable one Saturday morning to return equipment. I was there for an hour and a half with other brave souls.

Ninety-two. Time Warner Cable literally passed out numbers. That’s a terrible way to make people feel.


A lot of us often forget to be human today. We’re on our gadgets all day. We interact with screens more than we do with other people.

A few days ago I went to search for a flight. There’s tons of choices to book travel. I settled on an app my brother told me to check out.

Hipmunk.

Why did he tell me about Hipmunk?

“Compare flights, cheap prices with easy connections too. And they have this funny looking mascot.”

A mascot? What does that have to do with me finding a flight?

Whenever you search for a flight, you’ll land on a loading screen as Hipmunk is pulling all the data from different airlines together.

It’s like you’re in line waiting your turn to see available flights. Hipmunk could present a simple progress bar that alerts you to be patient. But that would make you feel kind of like a number. It’s boring.

Instead here’s the screen you see.

hipmunk-mascot.gif

That makes me smile. Every single time. It never fails.

The same is true for their mobile app. Here’s the screen you see on your mobile device.

hipmunk-mobile-mascot.jpg)

The same mascot plus a proverb from Tzu. There’s no boring progress bar that’s like watching grass grow or paint dry. This mascot makes you feel human.

People are interacting with our products in most cases with a computer or some handheld device that isn’t very human at all. Like it’s a robot at the end of the day. And any opportunity to remind them that they’re are human beings working on this thing to make this kind of human connection is one that you have to seize.

Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Hipmunk


You’re not a number. Or a robot. You’re a person.

Look for opportunities to remind yourself and others around you that we’re all just human beings.



Rock onThanks for reading!

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Find me on Twitter @cjgallo or GitHub @gallochris or Instagram @heygallo.