WARNING: You have to be a web geek to appreciate this post.
Check out this blog post by a Visual Designer at Google. It gives the story behind the creation of the new custom buttons that appeared in Gmail yesterday (shown above). Did you notice the change?
These buttons are impressive because they are built entirely with HTML and CSS (no images) yet they look and behave like real buttons. They have multiple states (resting, hover, focus, etc.), a gradient, and they work across all major browsers and operating systems.
Very few companies (or individuals) would put this kind of effort into making tiny improvements to buttons. It’s impossible to quantify the ROI on something like this (and very easy to dismiss it as a waste of time). But this is how great products are made.