Some web applications are just a pleasure to use. They work extremely well, they are gorgeous, they are fast, and they almost seem to guess what you want. Gmail, Amazon, and Highrise are all good examples of such applications.
A lot of ink has been spilled on why these apps are so great: Focus on the user, tons of usability testing, heavy usages of statistics, contextual design, etc. are but a few of the reasons pointed out as drivers for success. (more…)