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The Importance of Micro-interactions in Design

28 November 2019

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What is a Micro-interaction?

Micro-interactions are small events which serve a single, purpose on a website or app. They can be used to inform, engage or simply delight the user. 

A popular example of a micro-interaction is the ‘Like’ button on Facebook. The reason it is so successful is that it not only enhances the sense of engagement for the user but also communicates the current status and helps users see the results of their actions.

A micro-interaction should be short, simple and easy. It should not distract or delay the user from completing their desired goal.

Why Do They Matter?

When micro-interactions are done right, they can enhance positive feelings about your brand and influence users without them even realising why.

When Should They be Used?

Call to Action (CTAs) 

A micro-interaction applied to a CTA can be used to nudge a customer to interact with a website or app. If we let the user know the action has been completed successfully, it instills a feeling of achievement. The best way to make a user interact with a CTA is to make it enticing. Subtly animated buttons are a great way of doing this.

Animation

Humans are hardwired to seek instant gratification. Animations can help make the simplest action more interesting and addictive. Animation should be subtle in order to not distract, frustrate or delay the action.

Current Status

One of the most important factors of a successful website is letting the user know the current status of what’s happening, or where they are on the website. This is particularly important in a booking or purchasing situation. If the user is not informed, they can be likely to leave. We can use micro-interactions to help customers know what is going on, where they are and how long something is likely to take.

Data Input

Setting-up passwords and accounts can be frustrating. Some subtle interactions at the point of data input can help to keep users engaged and accomplish the task.

Dos and Don’ts

Keep it Simple

If a micro-interaction is too complicated, it can actually slow things down and frustrate. The opposite of the desired effect!

Keep it Consistent

They should go as unnoticed as possible and always remain subtle. A good way of achieving this is keeping them consistent with the style and the tone of the website. Otherwise they will stand out too much and could be slightly jarring.

They Should Have a Purpose

Micro-interactions shouldn’t just be used for the sake of it. They should have a function and serve a purpose.

Conclusion

In the end, attention to detail is what differentiates an exceptional website from an ordinary one. Micro-interactions are one of the best ways to show this attention to detail and elevate the overall quality of your website.

It’s the small things that will keep your customers engaged, delighted and coming back for more.

 

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