Overview and Proper Utilization of Micro-Interactions to Enhance a Website’s UX Design
To survive in the competitive arena of digital commerce, it is essential for any merchant website to deliver outstanding user-experience. This is not an easy task, as the digital commercial platform undergoes continuous updating. It is hard to maintain pace with these changes and to continuously improve the UX designs to fulfill the desires and the requirements of customers. Using micro-interactions, a commercial website is not only able to deliver the best UX to the viewers. It may pursue a customer in investing into a brand or business.
You may describe the micro-interactions as independent moments in a product design that can accomplish a specific task and enhancing the natural product flow leading to increased ROI. Hence, micro-interactions have become an integral part of any e-commerce website that wants to profit. In commercial websites, the micro-interactions help the functionality meet design. It bridges the UI with UX. The reactions you witness to a social media post, the animation you observe during the loading of content, the message you receive on ATM machines during the processing of a request is examples of micro-interactions. These seemingly minor details can make a product more engaging, enjoyable and easier to use.
- The micro-interactions may guide users through various products in a smooth and intuitive manner.
- These interactions give immediate feedback to the users depending on their actions.
- The micro-interactions can enhance the sense of operation and encourage users’ engagement.
- The users can visualize their operations and prevent making mistakes with helps from micro-interactions.
Four Basic Parts of Micro-Interactions
There are four basic parts of micro-interactions and each part plays an equally important role in improving the UX design.
The ‘Trigger’ is the first part in the structure of micro-interactions which initiates the interactions. The ‘Trigger’ happens whenever a system or a user starts the interaction. The interaction of a system occurs in response to a user’s action. For example, a user may type a wrong password and a system may interact in response to this action with a message.
This is the second part in the structure of micro-interactions. It determines the actions after activating micro-interactions. In the aforementioned scenario, the rules make the system ask a user if he/she has forgotten the password and if he/she wishes to recover it. These rules remain invisible to users and only the web-developer remains aware of these rules. These rules are formatted to satisfy the varying requirements of all users.
The Feedback is the third part in the structure of micro-interactions. This part informs users about the reactions that start happening in response to their actions. A user may receive a feedback audibly/visibly/tangibly. It notifies users regarding the initiation of micro-interactions.
4. Loops and Modes
The fourth part in the structure determines the meta-rules. It enables a system to determine an action if certain requirements or conditions change. The ‘Loop’ usually determines the accepted frequency of repetition or the length of a micro-transaction. For example, ‘Loop’ determines the maximum number of chances a user may get to insert an incorrect password. The ‘Modes’ determine what happens after performing a certain action. For example, the repetitive insertion of an incorrect password may lead to blocking of an account for a certain period.
Importance of Micro-Interactions
Using micro-interactions, the web-designers/web-developers can make navigation easier for the users. Due to improved navigation, the users stay on a website, purchase and come back in the future. The micro-interactions deliver real-time information to users and make them feel that their experiences truly matter. This feature also improves the rate of interactions.
Tips on Designing Successful Micro-Interactions
There is no universal rule to follow when designing the micro-interactions. However, the web-designers or web-developers follow five simple rules when designing various micro-interactions.
Simple & Succinct
When it comes to designing a micro-interaction, the less is more. It is prudent to keep the design simple. A micro-interaction is not supposed to be seen until it is necessary. It is supposed to instantly perform the action after receiving a user’s commands because a user may encounter numerous micro-interactions in a day. Hence, it is essential for the design to be simple and effective.
Harmonious Presence on a Website
The presence of a micro-interaction is not supposed to stand out. It is supposed to remain latent until its presence is necessary. The micro-interactions are supposed to be blend with the rest of the website instead of being a source of distraction to the users. It is crucial for the micro-interactions not to disturb other UI elements present on a website.
Building Micro-Interactions using Practical Information
It is prudent to use the information available from users’ behavior before developing or designing any micro-interaction. It enables the web-developers/designers to cater to the requirements of users on various websites. A designer/developer may inquire about the necessities of specific micro-interactions on a website and may use this knowledge to design effective micro-interactions.
Practice Makes Perfect
A website developer/designer may repetitively test the performance of micro-interactions before using them on a website. These tests may inform a designer/developer about the efficiency of a design.
It is vital to keep the four basic structures of a micro-interaction intact, such as Trigger, Rules, Feedback and Loops/Modes. A micro-interaction cannot work properly in absence of one structure.
Practical Use of Micro-Interactions
It is true that micro-interactions can enhance the UX design. However, it is not essential for micro-interactions to be present in every design. The overuse may disturb the balance in the hierarchy of information. Some micro-interactions may instantly improve the user experience.
- Engaging Tutorials
Micro-interactions may add fun to learning. The website designers/developers may use micro-interactions to create interactive tutorials with step-by-step guidance for effortless learning of the viewers.
2. Swiping Action
Several users find the ‘Swipe’ feature to be friendlier than ‘Click’ or ‘Select’ actions on mobile devices.
3. Engaging CTA Texts
The ‘Call-to-Action’ texts bring a sense of accomplishments to the users. Hence, a web designer/developer may put an enticing CTA before the last step of a purchase to make the users feel satisfied.
4. Current Status
The updated status of a system prevents any confusion in users and helps them remain patient.
5. Interesting Animation
The website designers/developers can make simple processes interesting using animated input fields. The insertion of animated buttons can guide users better and can make their journey more engaging.
6. Reminding Notifications
The use of micro-interactions via a notification may remind users regarding the pending transactions.
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