I love well thought out software and I can really geek out about design details. Sometimes I come across a detail which is more than a great touch or a beautiful extra.
MacRabbit’s Espresso 2 Kaboom release, an awesome text and web editor, has such a detail. The settings button. The way it’s visually implemented is genius. It’s looks tell you more about what it does than if it just had an icon.
The button actually tells a small story. “Look, I’m a button! But not just any button. I show you the inner workings of this app, the gears behind this interface. If you want to change something just click here.”
After you push the button the interface slides up and reveals the settings. As a bonus the gears spin as they “work” to slide the interface up. It’s beautiful, clear and functional because it tells a story. And I like it. A lot.