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What is the perfect click?

Jeremy GilbertJeremy Gilbert wrote 08/13/2016 at 15:13 • 2 min read • Like

My name is Jeremy Gilbert, and I am on a life-long quest for the perfect “click.”

What is the “perfect click” you ask?

Its that thrill of two disjoint things snapping into place. Its the thrilling snap of a relay. The detent on a rotary encoder that tells us we’ve turned the knob the right way. The satisfying feeling of a well-made car door closing shut.

The “quest for the perfect click” is why the iPod click wheel sits in the New York Museum of Modern art. Its why we love the sound of a mechanical shutter of a camera. Its why we groove to the extra clicky transient sound of a hihat on a jamming baseline.

Think of the our use of language. Things ‘snap’ into place. They ‘click’ together. We give enormous primacy to this concept.

I supposed clickiness is probably a minor thing in the grand scheme of life. But I’m convinced the whole of humanity is obsessed with it. Somewhere there is a group of neurons in our brains that are happy about clicks and snaps, and fire all sorts of awesome dopamine and endorphins at us when they happen.

See, as humans, we inherently know a cool thing when we see it. You could walk up to an technologically isolated tribe of hunter-gatherers, and hand them something clickly (like an iPhone) or a spyglass, and they would be fascinated by it. Think of the millions of dollars spent by consumer goods companies just seeking that satisfying feeling in their products.

So at the risk of overstating it, clickiness is absolutely part of the drum-beats of technological progress.

So this is a blog about that subject, and my own personal quest to create clicky things. Its not necessarily what I do for a living, but its been a hobby of mine for a long time.

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