Intimacy Hierarchy

Published by Chris Coyier

Pete Pinnell in a video about fine art and ceramic cups talking about human behavior:

We'll look at things that we won't nudge with our foot.
We'll nudge things with our foot that we won't pick up in our hand.
We'll pick things up in our hand that we won't put up to our mouth.
We'll put things to our mouth that we won't put in our mouth.

There is an intimacy hierarchy in web design too.

There are websites that we visit because we have to, but we wouldn't get an account with.
There are websites that we have accounts with that we would never participate in.
There are websites we participate in that we don't enjoy.
There are websites that we enjoy but don't participate in.
There are websites we enjoy and participate in but don't share everything with.
There are websites that we share everything with, but don't trust.
There are websites that we trust and share everything with; these are the sites we love.

In ceramics, a perfect cup is both aesthetically beautiful and functionally beautiful (it drinks well). The cup enhances the experience of drinking. The cup can even make what you are drinking out of it taste better.

A website that is well designed and functions well makes the content seem better, smarter, more authoritative, and more trustworthy. A beloved website will effortlessly weave itself into our daily life, and become a permanent fixture in our thoughts.

Big thanks to Jeff Campana who showed me the video and helped strengthen the analogy.