Adding a little sparkle

Got a call yesterday to give our friends in Isle of Man Finance a hand with a presentation they were preparing on a memory stick. It wasn’t a difficult problem; they simply wanted the presentation to start up automatically when the USB stick was plugged into a computer. I played around with their autorun.inf for a bit to get it sorted and ended up using 1st AutoRun Express to get it done. I also created an icon for the USB stick using Easy Icon Maker, which added that little bit of colour to the whole thing.

Coming from a technology background, it’s easy to dismiss these little items as just being unnecessary detail. Do they really add that much to the presentation? Well, the answer is a resounding YES, they certainly do. At the end of the day, it’s all about the end-user’s experience, and any obstacles in the way they perceive your offering can be a barrier to their being receptive to your ideas.

How should you apply this idea to whatever you’re producing. Well, put yourself in your consumer’s shoes and answer these questions.? What frustrates you about the product/service on offer? How can it be made better? Better still, what would delight you and encourage you to share your experience with friend, family and colleagues? In the end, it’s the small things that make a difference.


  1. You can’t autorun a usbstick, that is unless you have a u3 and hack it. Or trick the computer into thinking its a cd drive.

  2. Yup, you can autorun a USB stick. I didn’t have any problems on both XP and Vista

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