There is a famous saying - "It's the little things that matter the most." Little things like a "like" on Facebook or a "view" on a Youtube video matter a lot. Ask why? Well, these are small interactions that help in understanding the user's interests in a certain area. Such small interactions are all about the details of an application and details are nothing but an integral part of the design.
Ask yourself. Will you prefer using an app that has no sense of navigation and is weird or will you go for an app that is user-friendly and guides you through everything easily? That is why micro-interactions are necessary. They set the difference between a marvelous UX and a useless one.
If you wish to focus on user-centric design approach, always target the users first. Even the slightest of the details can give rise to a cascading effect of discontent among your customers. So, make sure that the small moments in UX are not boring but engaging and exciting for your users.
Microinteractions and UX design go hand in hand. During the design process, one must need to pay attention to the details and not overload it with irrelevant animations. Following certain principles, while designing your UX will ensure that micro-interactions gel well with your design. Here is a list of the principles.
- UX micro-interactions must be subtle and functional. Your micro-interactions must not be irritating or annoying, instead, they must be apt for providing modest or solid responses for both common and occasional actions.
- Ditch short-term based goals. Always aim for the long term. While designing UX it is advisable to stay away from those interesting elements that may become annoying when used repeatedly. For instance: Consider the "Subscribe to Newsletter" as a micro-interaction. If you keep utilizing the pop-up dialog box for each time the webpage loads, it will become stressful for the users.
- Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Following the KISS principle(Keep It Simple, Stupid) and not designing the micro-interactions to be overwhelming for the users will not only reduce the loading time of your application but also make it convenient for end-users to use.
- Do some groundwork before starting. Understand your target audience and the context of building your application. This will help you in designing effective and powerful UX elements for your app. Attractive UX elements are only possible when you also give special attention to the details while designing.
- Take care of the complexity and coordination. Once you build a foundation, find out those specific areas where the complexity lies. Also, don't ignore the physical principles and human-computer interaction techniques that might help in catching the eye of your users. As per Fitts' Law, it is known that vertical and horizontal lines will be better than slanting lines or curves.
- Survival of the fittest. As you design by keeping in mind the long-term results, you should ensure that your UX design has a set of subtle micro-animations that get displayed differently each time you use it. By keeping things interesting, your users will keep looking forward to checking out your mobile or website application.
Who loves a boring, static design? Nobody does! That is why micro-interactions can work wonders for you. By feeding on the user's desire for acknowledgment, UX micro-interactions will encourage them to use it. From accepting of some action to gaining rewards, such interactions guide users on the working of an application.
Micro-interactions can reduce complicated functionality into a simple and basic feature. However, one should always treat every functionality as a set of interlinked micro-interactions. In other words, if you care about enhancing your UX, micro-interactions should also be a part of your design. They offer a sigh of relief for solving the small and discrete problems of your UX.
So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and blend some fine yet useful micro-interactions into your UX! It is the key to having a successful UX design.
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