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Features that delight – congratulations Outlook

I’m not normally one to getting too caught up in features as I have written about many times before. But sometimes they are so delightful and unexpected that, not because they have any intrinsic value, but purely because of the delight they create, they should be celebrated. This is one such feature. Details below.

  1. As you can hopefully see I’m creating an email using the Outlook Web App (OWA) to start with – I only use it this way, i.e. in the browser.
  2. The key is to use the word congratulations, happy birthday works too. Hit send.
  3. The person receiving it (as you can see I sent it to myself just to show how it works immediately) sees an explosion of colour flowing from the word. You see this as soon as the email lands and you read it or if you hover over the word.

Now some background:

  • I noticed this when I started receiving mails where others were being congratulated. I loved it so much I tried to found out how it works.
  • I tried all manner of things from OWA. The @ function, insertion of gifs and emoji, etc. Nothing worked.
  • I then went to the Outlook client and tried there – nothing.
  • I came back to OWA, typed the word and sent and voila 💥
  • I subsequently discovered the setting for it – see end of video.

I love this because it surprised me with delight and it was intelligent – just what good software should be.

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