How Correct Programmers Boil Easter Eggs

    Work in the office got up for two hours, no less. And all because of the layout designer.

    It began with the fact that he inserted an Easter egg with a toy on the site, and everyone stuck into it. Even the director was seen playing.

    Previously, I did not think much about this phenomenon - well, Easter eggs and Easter eggs, funny, but nothing special. But this incident allowed me to look at the issue from an unexpected perspective. I found that Easter eggs are much more than just a joke. This is a way of expressing your personality. Moreover, it is a way of communication. And not only between developers and site visitors, but also within the team.

    Disclaimer:"Easter Egg" or simply "Easter Egg" (English Easter Egg) - a secret left in the game, film or software by its creators. Easter eggs are a bit of a joke for attentive users, players, or spectators. Finding Easter eggs is usually quite difficult. To do this, you need to do something non-standard: click several times in the right place, enter a certain sequence of characters, etc. Read more at Wiki.

    Why do developers leave Easter eggs on sites? Why do artists sign their work, car manufacturers put logos on cars, clothes manufacturers sew tickled company labels on interior seams, and teens write “Vasya was here” on the elevator wall? Everyone has one desire - to leave their mark on history. Do not you want to somehow mark that it was you who did it? To bring an individual touch to the work, to make it unique, to say something to the whole world through it? And at the same time have some fun.

    What are they like?

    There is a common belief that Easter eggs are the result of hooligan tricks and they are an absolute evil. Roughly like graffiti in the porch. Let's see if there is a grain of truth in this opinion. So, we conditionally divide Easter eggs into six types:

    Text. The easiest easter egg to implement, is a funny, ridiculous, witty, obscene ... comment in code. He can’t do much harm. A normal user will never see her. A typical example from the site

    Dissected. Blood, guts and all the ensuing consequences. A vivid example of for the dudes to meet and click on one of them). At first glance, the idea is very dubious. But, strangely enough, it is not only approved by the owners of the site, but also deliberately and even very successfully used by them for advertising purposes. In a less successful case, such Easter eggs can ruin the reputation of the resource and / or the developer's career.

    Naughty. For examples, google. For reasons of political correctness, I did not publish links here. Such easter eggs are very popular and certainly provide excellent traffic to the site. But not every resource owner will be happy to find a beautiful stranger on one of their pages. Imagine such an Easter egg (as well as the previous one) on the retirement home site. What do you think about this? In short, use with caution.

    Instructive.The creators of Easter eggs are good guys and strive to make the world a better place. Such easter eggs appeal to our bright side and awaken positive emotions. A great example - - in the footer click on the traffic lights and never go on the road again.

    Gaming. This is perhaps my favorite type of easter eggs. Yes, and site owners relate to them quite loyally. This category includes everything you can play with: twist, twist, poke with a mouse, control keys, etc. They are very emotional, funny, funny and sometimes nostalgic. Such Easter eggs can be found even on serious resources. A couple of examples: - click on the header of the site - click on the laptop screen (control the arrows).

    Interface This group includes all Easter eggs that change the interface or functionality of the site. Found on major reputable and even international resources. For example:

    - Google Chrome - in the address bar write the word tilt or askew and enjoy. (Tilt means slope, and askew means obliquely, crookedly).
    - In Skype, it turns out there are hidden emoticons. For example, try sending someone: (bug) Other emoticons - here

    - Vkontakte - instead of the usual interface, you can install Soviet or pre-revolutionary. Links for switching are in the footer of the page.

    What do we have?

    If giants such as Chrome and Vkontakte use Easter eggs, then this is not so bad? Of course, on such resources there are only professionally made Easter eggs without a bloody mess and undressed women. They usually organically fit into the concept of the resource itself, give joy to those who find them and do not offend anyone. Summarizing all of the above, you can formulate some simple tips for young Easter-makers. So, what should not be done if you do not want to get a stick:

    1. To discredit the reputation of the resource. Insults to the owner of the resource and various types of mockery of the site itself will definitely not please the authorities, and your reputation can be badly damaged. It is better to refuse such things at least out of self-respect.
    2. Hide the easter egg from the owner.Here, I think, many will disagree. By opening the cards, you, of course, reduce the level of heroism and fun, but then you will not harm either yourself or the resource.
    3. Turn the easter egg into an advertisement. In itself, the use of Easter eggs in marketing is normal, and this will be described below. But, for example, showing a banner by clicking on a hidden pixel is bad taste. People will feel cheated. Be sincere, do Easter eggs for fun.
    4. Use unnecessarily intestinal blood and other trash. On some sites - this is normal, on others - completely unacceptable. Rely on common sense.
    5. Overdo it with Easter eggs. Everything is good in moderation. No need to hang eight Easter eggs on one page. In the general case, one is enough. For the entire resource more than three - already bust.

    In any case, you need to remember that the easter egg is just a tool. And how you use it - for the good or to the detriment of yourself and the resource, it is your business.

    Why not play?

    No one bothers to use the Easter eggs mechanism, as an obvious marketing device according to all the rules of gamification (from the English gamification) - to engage visitors in the search for secret content and reward those who found it. Let's say you have an online store and have New Year's holidays on your nose. You can hide secret codes in some product cards or even just pictures with funny deer. Whoever finds at least one such secret is a discount or a gift.

    Firstly , it will increase the involvement of visitors - they will review many pages of the site in search of an Easter egg, you look, they’ll buy something.
    Secondly , they will attract friends to help them search for hidden pictures.
    Thirdly, they will get a lot of positive, and remember the site. And you will see people who love their job and are ready to work just like that for the sake of an idea and will be imbued with confidence in you.
    And fourthly , the traffic and time spent by people on the site will increase, which will positively affect the attitude of search engines to it.

    In short, sheer benefit.

    Easter eggs, team spirit and the right programmers

    However, not all managers respond positively to Easter eggs on their resource. According to our layout designer, in his youth he left one on the site of a large car dealer, and the customer found it and gave it a stick.

    In my opinion, this was short-sighted by the customer. After all, if a person is so passionate about programming that he does this in his spare time and creates his own creative projects, then this is the right programmer. A wise leader will appreciate this, smooth out, if necessary, sharp corners and get an excellent team member, as well as a huge bonus for his project.

    Moreover, the introduction of Easter eggs can positively affect the whole team. This is an excellent team building tool! The team has a feeling of involvement in something forbidden and hooligan, which cannot but bring together. All participants are imbued with completely deserved respect and sympathy for the developers and will recognize them from a new perspective.


    Is Easter eggs good or bad? Yes and no. It all depends on: common sense, directness of hands, the cultural level of the developer, relations with superiors, the subject of the site and many other factors. This is a tool, and the tool is thin and unpredictable. It is not always easy to determine whether it will bring harm or benefit, or even completely be wasted.

    The charm of Easter eggs in their spontaneity, lightness and naturalness. They do not need to go in cycles, spend a lot of time and energy and wait for the indispensable marketing effect. Why not just express yourself through Easter eggs, communicate with visitors, respect them and delight them. They will appreciate and reciprocate.

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