Comments on: MarsEdit 3.5.2: Character Count http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/2480/marsedit-3-5-2-character-count Mac & Technology Writings by Daniel Jalkut Mon, 24 Mar 2014 16:18:09 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 By: Daniel Jalkut http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/2480/marsedit-3-5-2-character-count/comment-page-1#comment-271565 Sat, 19 May 2012 12:27:35 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=2480#comment-271565 Hi Scott – I am concerned about clutter in the UI, and I just decided in this case the status bar is already minimal enough that this wouldn’t bother many folks, and it will really help some. It also helps that the whole status bar can still be hidden completely for maximum decluttering.

I do have some less discoverable features in most of my apps, ranging from subtle option-key type discoverable things to secret user-defaults enabled behavior that I don’t think is suitable for mainstream use.

For example in FastScripts there are several behaviors that are triggered by holding a modifier key while selecting a script. I sometimes have the thrill of witnessing somebody sharing that they’ve discovered one, e.g.:

https://twitter.com/#!/tjw/statuses/199165150039781377

But it would probably be better overall if the features were more obvious.

Daniel

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By: Scott http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/2480/marsedit-3-5-2-character-count/comment-page-1#comment-271564 Sat, 19 May 2012 12:21:26 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=2480#comment-271564 Had you considered the option of toggling between character mode and word mode by clicking on the count? It might look cleaner/simpler, although you would probably have an increased support burden, because the discoverability of that approach is pretty low. Another way of approaching this could be with the different extra options appearing in the menu when you hold down the option key (which has even more discoverability problems).

Do you have any thoughts on having little secrets built into your app like Apple sometimes does that aren’t very discoverable, but makes your users feel cool and “in the know” when they learn them? I wonder if they can serve as a form of viral marketing, where your customers are making youtube screencast showing neat/clever tricks in your app that helps reach new customers and boosts your SEO in the process. Or perhaps this approach doesn’t work well for indie software simply because it adds to the support burden that ends up cutting into your development time.

I do think it’s cool to see how much effort/thought/consideration goes into these smaller details. Thanks for taking the time to post.

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