microinteractions ux design

Microinteractions UX Design: The Small Things That Make A Huge Difference

Nithya Sudhir Pixelmattic Blog Leave a Comment

Microinteractions UX design are a set of insignificant moments which are negligible on their own, but they add up to create huge impacts on the user’s mood and opinion. It’s likely that you started your day with a micro-interaction and you are most likely to continue to engage in these moments with your digital devices throughout the day.

Wait a minute, what exactly are microinteractions?

A microinteraction UX design is any single task-based engagement with a device that help users flow through UX design.Every time you change a setting, sync your data or devices, set an alarm, pick a password, log in, set a status message, or favourite or “like” something, you are engaging with micro interactions UX design.
They are everywhere, in the devices we carry, the appliances in our house, and they are even embedded in the environments we live and work in. Microinteractions usually go unnoticed, unless something goes haywire, or when something goes brilliantly well.

Microinteractions UX Design

Image Source: Ivanof Martinez

Most appliances and some apps are built entirely around one microinteraction. If the microinteractions UX design is properly executed, then it is smooth enough to pass unnoticed while the user is performing his usual activities on a website.

These tiny moments add substantial enhancements to your UX. Microinteractions provide delightful visual feedback, making the interface feel weightless, thanks to the smooth transitions during interactions.

The Microinteraction Model

A microinteractions UX design has four parts: a Trigger, the Rules, Feedback, and Loops/Modes. Every interaction includes these parts to create a cycle for how things work.

Microinteractions UX DesignImage Source: Smart Design

  1. The Trigger is what starts a microinteraction. The trigger can be a manual control, or a system response to an action. It encourages users to take action.
  2. A trigger engages Rules, which determine the flow of the microinteraction. Rules define events that occur during interaction.
  3. Through Feedback, users understand the Rules and the working of microinteractions. Feedback gives information to the users about what is happening each moment.
  4. Loops determine the duration of microinteractions and also how they change over time with repeated usage. Modes are used to provide important information that would help users continue their process of interaction.

Microinteractions UX Design on a website

Importance of Microinteractions

Microinteractions work because they appeal to the user’s natural desire for acknowledgment.

Microinteractions improve the UX by making the UI less machine and more human.

Not only do they improve functionality, they also make your site more engaging, taking a dull experience and making it more fun and memorable, which is why you should care about making the most of your microinteractions.

Microinteractions UX Design

Image Source: Brent Clouse

Microinteractions UX designs help users understand the process they’re about to participate in, and approach the interface easily, regardless of how complicated its logic may be. Therefore microinteractions are small bits of communication that help users navigate the interface, and perform basic functions such as:

  • Communicating status or feedback
  • Revealing results from particular actions
  • Helping users carry out manipulation

Why should you focus on microinteractions?

  1. Microinteractions allow you to control instant feedback: As the micro interaction takes place, the user understands the results of his action and feels motivated to continue working.
  2. Microinteractions streamline guidance: Most of the time, they are completely invisible, but contain intuitive elements and hints that show users how to operate.
  3. Microinteractions are rewarded with visual means: User experience is rewarded with visual effects which enhance habit loops and create specific behavioral patterns.
  4. Microinteractions give users what they need: Users often expect the website to follow an actual web trend, and wouldn’t settle for one that doesn’t have it.
  5. Microinteractions have a role in all digital design projects: Design nowadays is far more human-centric than before, requiring several paths of interaction to make devices function in a human-like way and to be adopted easily.

Some Do’s and Dont’s

Microinteractions UX Design

Microinteractions on WordPress

Microinteractions UX DesignImage Source: WordPress.org

Microinteractions UX design are well-integrated into responsive WordPress themes. They are human-based which makes them completely understandable and intuitive, without any additional guidance needed. Not only do these microinteractions help users to interact with a given WordPress based website, they also keep them hooked to the resource for a longer period of time. The most effective microinteractions are delivered only when the developers understand the need of the audience.

Some tips while dealing with microinteractions UX design

  • Show system status

The interface should keep the user enlightened about what is happening by displaying a graphic in the background, measuring bitrate, or playing a sound.

  • Highlight Changes

Show notifications to make sure the user sees it. The animation will attract their attention and encourage users to pay heed to important information.

  • Keep Context

Keep a clear navigation between different pages, so the user understands what appeared from where, and is able to easily navigate back.

  • Visualize Input

Data input is one of the most important elements of any application. And micro-interactions turn this process into something special. You can use existing elements to deliver feedback.

  • Call To Action

Microinteractions have the power to encourage users to actually interact. Focus on user emotions, draw from context & user research and design for repeated use.

Examples of microinteractions UX design on a website

Microinteractions UX design keeps the whole user experience interactive and fun. Although they do go unnoticed and that’s how it is supposed to be, I’m going to tell you a few places where you will find them. And I guarantee that after this you will start noticing them!

Microinteractions can be inserted in a variety of places, around any potential action. But in general, they tend to come up in the following areas:

Viewing or writing a small piece of content

Microinteractions ux designConnecting one device to another

Microinteractions ux designUploading and downloading

Microinteractions ux designNotifications

Microinteractions ux designSocial media sharing

Microinteractions ux design

Some of the well-defined examples of microinteractions that you may come across:

  1. Switching on/off

Microinteractions UX Design

Image Source: Brian Benitez On Dribbble

  1. Showing changes

Microinteractions UX Design

Image Source: Alex Pronsky on Dribbble

  1. Pull-down and hidden menus

Microinteractions UX Design

Image Source: Virgil Pana on Dribbble

  1. Progress bar while reading an article/ how long it will take to complete reading an article

Microinteractions UX DesignImage Source: medium.com

  1. One-click checkout

Microinteractions UX DesignImage Source: amazon.in

Over the past several years, web design trends have been gravitating towards making things more human-oriented, introducing microinteractions UX design as a means of interaction between the users and the website environment.

Microinteractions UX Design

Image Source: xjw on Dribbble

Microinteractions are a great way to enhance both the user experience and the functionality of your website. These tiny moments can add up to being one of the most important elements, making your website seem weightless and smooth, improving a range of overall elements and helping your website stand out from the crowd.

Have you come across some really great microinteractions UX design yet? Let us know in the comments below!!

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