User delight has a special place in the heart of every product manager. New products and features are supposed to be not only functional, reliable, and usable, but also pleasurable. Much like the “self-actualization” that tops Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, “pleasurable” sits on of Aarron Walter’s hierarchy of user needs.

User delight refers to any positive emotional effect that a user may have when interacting with a device or interface. User delight may not always be expressed outwardly, but can influence the behaviors and opinions formulated while using a website or application.

— Therese Fessenden, Nielsen Norman Group

Here are the top interactions that make me smile, which is an indicator of delight. These don’t necessarily solve the greatest user tasks, but make the overall experience of using an app and memorable.

5. McDonald’s app with its jolly french fries

I first saw this interaction on my friend’s phone when he was placing an order with McDonald’s. French fries jumping out of a red box, looking very jolly, is a good way to make the user smile while the order loads. I checked the McDonald’s app for this post and now the interaction lasts for a split second. It was a feat of hand-eye coordination to capture, but here it is:

Jolly French Fries

4. The most memorable CAPTCHA is on WeChat

Remember “I’m not a robot” or similar CAPTCHA created to distinguish humans from computers? The tasks, such as reading blurry letters and entering them back into a text box, are meant to be hard for robots and easy for humans. Most of the time, these tasks are pretty annoying and far from being memorable, but not in the case of WeChat. Check out these cute puzzles to see why:

Koalas and Landscapes in WeChat

3. “What’s on your mind?” on Facebook

With the goal of increasing user engagement, status updates, and posting, “What’s on your mind?” colorful backdrops on Facebook are delightful attention grabbers. The backdrops not only encourage you to post more on Facebook, but also nudge you to be loud, noticeable, creative, and colorful when communicating with your friends on the platform. However, some think this feature resembles a Hallmark store explosion and contributes to News Feed clogging.

Hallmark Store Explosion

2. Instagram camera effects

Instagram has built its brand on making user pictures look more attractive by applying filters. Camera effects is a step up from adding filters to photos. If you ever wondered what you look like with cat ears and nose, camera effects will help you find out.

1. Special effects and Animoji in iMessage

From balloons, confetti, and fireworks to echo and spotlight, iMessage special effects create surprise and offer multiple options for dressing up your text messages. These special effects were first introduced with iOS 10 on September 13, 2016. One of the newer remixes on the theme of playful messages include Animoji available on iPhone X.

iMessage Special Effects and Animoji

What are some interactions that delight you?

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