This is what I’m talking about. A short article on The Invisible showing the attention to detail the Apple software engineers paid to the iPhone email application. It answers the seemingly simple UI question “What happens to your position in your inbox when a new email arrives?”
This is serious attention to detail. It’s not something people will show off to each other on the bus, or something that you can put on an advert or trumpet on a feature list. It just makes the app a bit quieter and a bit more well behaved. The addition of this extra detail has made the app less visible than if the detail wasn’t there. Lovely.
When it comes time for me to design an iPhone application (or any similar application be it web-, desktop-, or mobile-based) this is the sort of stuff I want to spend time on.
As Gruber put it, “Details matter.”