Great products never stop evolving.  But new features don’t always need trumpets and fireworks to roll out.  They can appear quietly, unannounced.  If they’re intuitive, no directions are needed.  People start using them, and they work.

There’s a nice example of this on the iPhone. I don’t recall what version of iOS brought us this little gem, but I have only recently started using it.  It’s the ability to go back, after tapping on a notification, to where you were.

Here’s an example.  The other night I’m reading Jeff Patton’s User Story Mapping on Kindle on my iPhone 6s.


Then hark!  That familiar tone.  On top of my screen, a Twitter notification.


Naturally I tap on it.  Which takes me to Twitter.

After reading that, I want to go back to my book.

The cool thing I’m calling out is right there in the upper left corner of the Tweet: “< Back to Kindle“.

With one tap I can go back to where I was before the notification popped in.



So I tap and I’m right back in my book.


The interaction is so simple and obvious you might not notice it at all. But it’s an elegant cross platform “back button” for your phone.  Exactly what you’d expect from Cupertino mission control.


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