An effective user experience (UX) is one that establishes a real emotional connection with a user—ensuring them that they are interacting with a product designed by humans, for humans. Often overlooked, microinteractions represent an integral part of this well-rounded UX. Though perceived by many to be small details in the context of a larger UX, microinteractions’ impact on overall user engagement cannot be overstated.
In his book “Microinteractions: Designing with Details,” designer Dan Saffer defines microinteractions as the “functional, interactive details,” of a product. They are “simple, brief, and should be nearly effortless.” Revolving around a single use case, microinteractions cater to a users’ innate need to be acknowledged. Examples include the animated ellipsis that appears when a friend is typing an iMessage. Or the bar in your internet browser that shows the progress of your downloads. Put simply, microinteractions are the little flourishes that let users know a task is being completed and that there is an intended flow to what they are doing.
When implemented properly, microinteractions can help:
Saffer outlines the main components of microinteractions:
Think of the login box on a web application that appears to vibrate when you enter an incorrect password. Or the illuminating ring that appears when your iPhone is searching for Bluetooth devices within range to connect to. What makes these so effective?
The best microinteractions integrate seamlessly with the overall theme of a UX. They should not be jarring in any way or divert the user from the established flow of an application or web page. Often, the most effective microinteractions are subtle, gently guiding the user through a flow while providing tiny bits of delight. Good microinteractions save the user time, packaging information, and conveying it in a brief, concise manner. Solid microinteractions are built for repeated use. Users may grow tired of seeing the same animations, so it’s crucial that microinteractions be as subtle and effective on the 100th use as on the first.
Overall, effective microinteractions are, well, micro. They are unobtrusive flourishes that acknowledge the user, guide them along a path, and provide little bites of delight. They are important tools for engaging with users in dynamic, fun, and—most importantly—human ways.
Interested in revamping your organization’s UX with intelligent microinteractions? Codal’s UX designers are experts at creating sleek and streamlined digital experiences. With a design process characterized by rapid prototyping and iterative user testing, Codal creates seamless and intuitive digital journeys that cater to all user types.
Want to learn more about Codal’s UX design capabilities? Get in touch with Codal today.