Static interfaces and their methods have grown old, and they now are part of the past development practices. In this day and age, there’s an increasing demand for excellent, enjoyable, and intriguing experience between customers and their device. Most of our daily interactions with websites and mobile apps as well as sites fall directly under the umbrella of “Microinteractions” that target quite a specific niche of UI designers. While a secure, responsive UX and UI great design can surely solve overlooked and universal issues, these teeny-tiny agents revolve around a single use case and make sure that your app stands out from the rest. Here, we’ll explain what exactly microinteraction is and how you can improve your mobile app or website design with these small yet powerful events. So let’s get started!
What is Microinteraction?
A pull-to-refresh-action, Facebook Messenger App’s “Like” button, and the chat typing indicator are some classic, well-known examples of the microinteractions that users encounter on a daily basis. These details define the actual human-machine interface specific to a single-use action within apps and all over devices. These unsung heroes offer small smithereens of functionality that usually exist as the infant occurrence of the salient features. The purpose of these events is to accomplish a single task by changing human behavior as well as through the creation and provision of the:
- Relevant feedback to consumers;
- Excellent user experience; and
- Entertaining moments that are both engaging and welcoming.
Why do Microinteractions Matter?
Microinteractions are the backbone of a killer UI design and exceptional user experience. The concept of these interactions is of course ancient, visualizing the (change in) graphics in motion over an interval of time. They might be a specific part of the product/process or even the product itself.
For instance, a juice extractor has only one main task to perform, i.e., extracting juice from fruits and vegetables. You put your choice of sweet and fleshy products into the juicer and press button. That’s that, and then it grinds and squeezes the fresh & healthy juice out of the pulp. That’s easy! Conversely, the fax machine MFP may look like a typical fax machine, but it also connects to a laptop or PC for printing, copying, scanning, and data input/output. In this example, different small microinteractions take place in the process, and one particular element is accountable to just one core function.
In comparison, a juicer is the source of a single microinteraction event and a fax machine comprises several short interactions. Same way, large applications and some features of the device may consist of various small actions, while minor apps can be a composition of sole one microinteraction. If designed right, they can effectually transform the tedious tasks into the mesmerizing experience, however, the poorly designed ones can ruin the entire experience and interface too, no matter how great the design looks.
What is the structure of Microinteractions?
Based on the size and structure, they can be boiled down to four parts, according to the interaction designer and author Dan Saffer, which include:
- Trigger: initiates a microinteraction
- Rules: determines the course of action
- Feedback: helps users understand what exactly they are interacting with
- Loops & Modes: specifies the meta-rules to assess changing conditions
What is a Microinteraction Virtuous for?
“Big” things usually tend to grab our attention, however, in case of the mobile app design process, the depth and detail of every small design element matters since one wrong move can crumble your design hierarchy. Below are some reasons why these minute agents rock your app and website development world.
1) Sleek Transition
They provide users with a better insight into your app’s previous and current state by ensuring a smooth, orderly transition between stages of the interface, thereby improving the navigations process as well as user experience of your app.
2) Continuous Progress Updates
Microinteractions are a great way to inform users about the upload or download status and also display them the progress of scrollable timeline. They control as well as enrich an ongoing process and also allow users to see the exact connection between their action and the content. From allowing people to search for images or records by a particular date/time to showing downloading percentage, they display the real-time changes in an elegant way.
3) Instant Feedback
Users have a propensity to check what they are interacting with and how, as a result, they expect to get a response immediately. Microinteractions keep your customers enlightened about what exactly is going on or where they are on the app/site. They show instant progress and provide relevant, useful feedback upon the completion of action to users.
4) Positively Impact Human Behavioral Patterns
Implementing responsive microinteractions will encourage users to interact with your mobile app or website design more easily and effectually. These animated short events add fun to the monotonous tasks, keep users engaged and entertained, also inspire liking, sharing, and commenting on any given content.
5) Incredible Brand Value
Microinteractions are not only the secret to interactive and arty design but also to boost your brand awareness and constructively influence your consumer perception, marketing efforts as well as revenue. For example, when the user receives notifications, they feel that there’s something important to check.
Microinteractions attract your users’ attention, enable them to create an association with your brand as well as products, and encourage them to act on your CTAs.