When it comes to design, first impression is always the last impression. Your users may like your website, but how do you make them fall in love with it?
All roads to this question leads to the human centered design approach where designs are created keeping the user in mind. Every designer worth his salt knows that appealing and practical interfaces helps their client reel in the users. Ideally an interface should be like a personal guide answering questions that users are looking for instantly without confusing them and thereby enhancing their experience.
And this is where Microinteractions come into play. In our last blog on 'Animation', we had touch base on micro-interactions and here is our attempt to exemplify the positive implications they can have on design. They acknowledge the users and give them the necessary feedback in real-time by making them understand the current process, thereby making the interface more interactive. They are sort of omnipresent, they are everywhere, from turning off your mobile to loading a video. Maybe they can go unnoticed at times but one thing’s for sure: their proper use (or misuse) can make or break a product.
In the UX/UI world, although tiny, micro-interactions are touted as the powerhouse when it comes with communicating with the user. Below are top seven micro-interactions and their impact on user experience:
The Swipe action eliminates tapping and is much more interactive and smooth. It helps the user quickly switch between the tabs and acquire more information about the product. Furthermore swiping is a very common gesture and guides the users subconsciously without making them think; just as we have been reading 'Don't make your users think'. What more? It’s insanely fun and addictive.
All of us know the frustrations of setting up a password or creating an account. This action can easily raise hackles. While proactive suggestions on password strength and usage make it easy for the user to proceed ahead, some interactive interactions at the time of data input also keep users engaged with the process and help accomplish the goal.
Animation simply enables and improves micro-interactions. They personify good design; their presence might not be noticed but absence takes a toll on everyone. They act like a glue that helps designers make the simplest of processes interesting and addictive. But be very careful as they are meant to engage the users and not distract or frustrate them; delayed processing or introducing new style in the website might cause confusion.
Current System status
It is essential to keep the user informed about the current status happening on a site or app. If the users are not informed chances are that they will get annoyed and close the site or app. Micro-interactions lets the user know exactly what is going on, how long it will take the process to complete etc. Even failure messages can be humorous yet effective to retain the trust of the user.
Make tutorials interesting
Everybody is constantly seeking information, all of us. Tutorials with the help of micro-interaction guide the users in the usage of an application by simplifying and highlighting the basic features and important controls for easy understanding.
Call to action
Microinteractions essentially nudges the user to interact with an application or website. Call to action instils a feeling of achievement and also empathy factor in user behaviour and the best way to make your user interact with CTA is to make it engaging to entice the interest of the user.
They play the role of information manager by letting the user know their way through your app or site. We need to pay attention to colour, shape, special effects, animations, placement and texture to make the user experience seamless.
We, humans, are hardwired to seek instant gratification. And it is a common tendency to overlook micro-interactions in the greater scheme of things, but these are very important to get your users hooked. Devil is in the detail- as everyone says. Small experiences and design features, like toggling between screens or highlighting a feature or popping off a new notification can make a huge difference in enhancing the user's experience.
Every day at Lollypop we strive to improve the UX by making the experience less machine and more human. And Microinteractions definitely help us achieve this goal as they are after all designed with empathy and users in mind!