Ok, so not a title that reflects my passion for interaction design but I thought I'd open up with a thought that I have been harbouring for a while now.
Have you ever seen the early Mercedes Gullwing? The entire car is gorgeous and the dashboard is so beautifully crafted that it's no wonder that you just want to touch it. I have a sneaking suspicion, that if you're ever lucky enough to get to sit in one of these cars that the first thing you will do is drool and the second is reach out and touch one of the many tempting dials, switches or buttons!
Why? Well I can't scientifically explain it but there is definitley a correlation between stuff that looks beautiful and tactile and stuff that you just want to touch...
So how does this relate to online? I believe that websites can be analysed to the n'th degree to optimise traffic and user journeys but there will always be a degree of animal attraction. Perhaps if the site is beautifully crafted users may enjoy discovering the functionality over having an interface with everything explained.
Photo from sherlock77 on Flickr