What Are Micro-Interactions?
One of the main objectives of user experience (UX) design is to create products and tools that help users accomplish their goals— micro-interactions are a functionality of this and are actually a pretty basic part of a user experience design. When a user on a website or app clicks a button, swipes, or inputs information into a field, that’s a micro-interaction. Part of this is also receiving an acknowledgment of this action from the product. This exchange between user and digital product or website is a micro-interaction.
The purpose of micro-interactions is to help create a feeling of accomplishment as well as provide meaningful feedback and tactile satisfaction. As users, we expect a response when we click, swipe or scroll on a page.
8 Micro-Interactions in UX
Micro-interactions differentiate a boring and bland website from an exceptional one in many ways.
- They improve the website navigation by constantly giving the user feedback and letting he or she know where they are within the navigation of a website. The instant and relevant feedback helps a user know what to do next, how to get from point A to B and so forth. They also confirm that an action has been received and completed. For example, if there was no confirmation after a purchase, a user would be unsure if his or her purchase had gone through and probably feel some level of anxiety.
- Micro-interactions are also a handy tool to help aid users with new features. They can teach a user about the functionality of a feature and how to use it to its full extent. These little tutorials avoid confusion and help a user to familiarize him or herself with new items.
- Micro-interactions direct users' attention. Such buttons or screens or even animations that pop up can help the user know where to look or click for a next step. These little assists can go a long way in making a user feel comfortable with a product or page.
- They make loading and error screens more interesting. Most loading screens are boring and a nuisance to users; error screens are usually doubly frustrating and doubly boring to look at. Creating a micro-interaction can make the pause while waiting more enjoyable and less painful. For example, Punchpass, an app for fitness studios has a gif of three men dancing in 1980s exercise attire that occurs when a page cannot be found or there’s an error. This bit of unexpected comedy can diffuse frustration.
- Social interactions are a big function of micro-interactions. They encourage sharing content with colorful and attractive ‘share’ buttons that remind users that others might like to have the same experience. Well- placed commenting buttons make leaving a note easy and appealing. ‘Like’ buttons go well beyond the thumbs up. They include hearts, faces and other icons as means of communication. These are designed to be emotionally enticing to use, and in many cases replace words.
- Micro-interactions help save space on small screens and enable more information without crowding by hiding action items. For example, in an email inbox viewed from a phone, a simple swipe left to delete a message creates more space that is then populated with an email previously not visible. But there’s no extra button or extra space on the screen telling a user how to delete a message. The swipe is a space saver.
- Overall, micro-interactions produce a better emotional connection between a user and a site. The user feels in control of his or her overall user experience with assistance of micro-interactions. The quick feedback, the ease of communication and instruction provided through these little interactions all create an overarching feeling of success. The connection and pleasant association with a product will ensure future use and recommendations to friends and family.
- Micro-interactions are becoming increasingly advanced and more and more dazzling through technical animations and page transitions. A sudden zoom, a complete reconfiguration of a page layout, or a continuing thread that weaves through a site taking the user from page to page are all examples of this type of upscale micro-interactions. These high impact transitions aren’t seen as intrusive or overwhelming, however, because the user has instigated them. In fact, they have the opposite effect, creating more engagement and connection between a page and a user.
These are just a few examples of the many instances of micro-interactions. The key takeaway here is that micro-interactions help make sites and products unique and desirable. They demonstrate a level of care for the user that isn’t always there without these consistent touch points. Good design will always come from a user-centric perspective. Micro-interactions are powerful and can improve the overall experience of a product.
How to Create Micro-Interactions
There are many tools on the market that help create exciting and creative micro-interactions from social commenting tools to website navigation. If you’ve done coding before and are familiar with it, the following animating tools would be helpful:
- Android studio
- Mobile or Web: Framer
- Web: CSS animation
For simple drag and drop options:
- Adobe XD
- Origami Studio
For animations and more interactive purposes:
- After Effects
If learning new programs isn’t high on the priority list, you might look to partner with a UX agency that can provide you with skilled developers and engineers who can help design your page or product leveraging the advantages of advanced micro-interactions! This is where a strategic firm such as Encora can help!
- The purpose of micro-interactions is to help create a feeling of accomplishment as well as provide meaningful feedback and tactile satisfaction.
- Micro-interactions differentiate a boring and bland website from an exceptional one in many ways, including: improving website navigation, directing users’ attention, making loading pages more entertaining, creating emotionally resonant social responses, generating space on a page, and more!
- Micro-interactions are becoming increasingly advanced and more and more dazzling through technical animations and page transitions.
- Micro-interactions help make sites and products unique and desirable. They demonstrate a level of care for the user that isn’t always there without these consistent touchpoints.
- There are many tools on the market that help create exciting and creative micro-interactions from social commenting tools to website navigation. See our list above.
- If learning new programs isn’t high on the priority list, you might look to partner with a UX agency that can provide you with skilled developers and engineers who can help design your page or product leveraging the advantages of advanced micro-interactions!
If you are looking for a software partner who will work towards your business goals and success, Encora is your solution. We offer dedicated teams, team augmentation, and individual projects to our clients and are continually looking for the best methodologies to give you the best results. Curious to learn more about advanced micro-interactions and how to implement this type of UX design into your projects? Get in touch today!