What are micro-interactions?
Micro-interactions are single-purpose events found everywhere online, from swiping on an app to clicking like on a photo. These small moments are essential to a site or app's usability and experience, and companies must take them seriously and prioritise micro-interactions in their strategy. A seamless website relies on effective micro-interactions, and designers are increasingly using them to grab user attention and encourage interaction.
Examples of micro-interactions
These tiny design elements may seem small, but they have transformed how we live and become a crucial part of any online experience. Animations are a great example of micro-interactions, such as the loading bar when uploading a photo or video, which notifies the user that their action is in progress. Logging into your phone incorrectly and getting a red icon or shaking animation is another example of an effective micro-interaction; it notifies the user of the problem and provides a way to rectify it.
Enhancing user experience
Successful micro-interactions are designed to help people see their single action's results whilst enhancing the sense of direct manipulation. The simple thumbs up 'like' action on Facebook communicates a whole range of information whilst providing feedback. Micro-interactions encourage the user to engage with the site, making things easier and allowing them to feel more in control. Effective micro-interactions save users time, make them feel something or surprise a user with a fun and unique function they weren't expecting.
Attention to detail
By spending time thinking about your site's small interactions, you're demonstrating your commitment to attention to detail. They make the user know that they are essential and that they matter. Micro-interactions can direct user attention and make navigating a website more accessible and uncomplicated. They take a complicated concept and communicate it with a symbol or gesture that the user is confident with.
Building your brand
The way you utilise micro-interactions can help your users to relate to and love your brand. Micro-interactions can make a tedious experience, like a website not loading or internet failure, and spin into a fun experience, like the Google dinosaur game. For official websites and apps, the simple colour change of an icon can be enough to effectively communicate a message. Meanwhile, light-hearted fun brands might choose a funny animation to demonstrate the same action.