How Can Microinteractions Improve the UX of a Website?

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Article by Quinn Frankel

Microinteractions play a large role in our digital lives, even if we don’t always notice them. From the time your phone’s alarm clock wakes you up in the morning to liking a tweet on Twitter and receiving notifications about new emails, we encounter micro-interactions all day. 

What are Microinteractions?

Microinteractions are, as the name suggests, small interactions that enhance an experience but do not draw attention to themselves. They are events that return audio or visual feedback to a user when they interact with a page or feature on your website or app. We are surrounded by them in our everyday lives, some common examples include:

  • Hovering effects
  • Menu drop-downs scrolling down instead of appearing suddenly
  • Audio indications of button clicks
  • Buttons shrinking or graying out after you click it 
  • Modals disappear after you have completed a form. 

Why do Microinteractions matter?

Although they are called microinteractions, the effect they can have on the design and the UX is far from micro. There are some websites you have to use, and there are the ones that you really enjoy using. We don’t notice it when we are using it, but the difference is all in the micro-interactions.

Here are 3 reasons why you should add microinteractions to your website.

Microinteractions make the interface more user friendly

Micro-interactions are great for when you need to enhance ease of use. They can be used on different forms and platforms, but it is not hard to see that they are needed for user-friendliness. You have probably come across a website with a tab bar that lights up when you hover over the icons, (if you haven’t, check out our works page and hover over the projects). This micro-interaction is important because it lets the user know whether the content is interactive.

Swiping is another micro-interaction that has enhanced the 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. Swiping is also a very common gesture and guides the users subconsciously without making them think. 

We instinctively think of visual micro-interactions, but audio cues can be just as essential. When you receive a notification, you usually hear a *ding*, without this micro-interaction, it would be more difficult to know that you have a notification. 

Micro-interactions add virtual aspects of daily life 

Our digital lives are fast-paced with IoT, AI, and other advanced technologies. In order to keep up, websites introduced micro-interactions to add a human element that encourages us to change the way we interact with the application. Take the example of a live chat feature. Most online interactions we do with them are programmed but, we enjoy it, we act as if we are talking to a human. 

Microinteractions increase user engagement at a low cost

Attention to detail is what differs an extraordinary website from a bland one, and users come back to the extraordinary sites. Twitter recently came up with a micro-interaction that displays a different animation depending on what type of tweet is liked. All they had to do was link it to hashtags, and now companies, sports teams, and communities all have their own animated hashtags. This drove people to download Twitter just to see the trick. Microinteractions not only attract the users but also maintain them.

If you would like to learn more about micro-interactions or have a project that you’d like to get started on, please feel free to contact us here.

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