Software that delights

Written on August 26, 2017

The other day I took my car to the dealership to get it maintenanced. Part of the maintenance included getting the oil changed. Usually when you get your car’s oil changed, they add a little plastic film reminder that sticks to your window in the top left hand corner of when your next oil change should be.

Reminder for oil change that says happy holidays

This is the reminder I got on my car’s oil changed. It says I need to come in to get an oil changed either when my car hits another 5,000 miles or in February, whichever comes first. One additional piece of information that I’ve never seen on any other reminder I’ve ever gotten is the little message at the very top which says, “Happy Holidays!”.

The little message actually put a smile on my face. It’s currently August and I’m guessing based on the estimated next visit in February was the trigger that caused the software that generates these reminders to print that. This is of course an assumption that this process is automated using software or it could totally have been done manually by the person servicing my car.

Such a small detail and yet it made me feel good and made a positive impression on the business. I also wondered if this was intentionally put in by the company who creates this software or if this is a reflection of a programmer who transposed their good personality into what they wrote.

Minor detail and yet it delighted me a lot. It was a good lesson to me that although software can be mundane and boring it is also a reflection of the folks who make it. In real life I try my best to be a polite and good person. Greeting folks, holding doors open and letting my southern upbringing to shine through by using ma’am and sir. I’d like to translate some of that into the things I make with software. In doing so, I hope it delights others and makes them feel good like how the holiday message on the oil change reminder made me feel.

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