In terms of design, microinteractions are those unexpected actions which, when well implemented, go unnoticed but ensure greater usability and user interaction on a website or mobile application. Their value lies in their ability to facilitate processes, inform the user, capture their attention, assist their browsing experience and improve the feedback.
They are closely related to engagement and conversions, so they mustn’t be disregarded. Of course, they need to be flexible and fully functional solutions that work on any device.
4 useful applications
There is an endless selection of microinteractions that could be used on your interface. Here are a few ideas:
1- Forms: upon marking a form as ‘complete’, microinteractions can alert the user about fields that have not been filled in or those which are incorrectly filled in, and can confirm data in real time. They can also be used for the auto-fill function. This makes the task easier, which is always a bonus.
2- Online shopping: microinteractions are the subject of great debate in the world of e-commerce. The process of online shopping needs to be easy and attractive. Thanks to microinteractions, users can see a 360º view of the product by hovering the cursor above it. They can also add a product to their shopping basket with a funny animation, for example. These small details are even more important if the user is shopping from a smartphone, as they make the process easier, more appealing and more interactive.
3- Site status and progress: keeping the user informed about the site status and progress (such as the time it will take to perform a certain process) will stop them getting bored and closing the page. Microinteractions are also essential for highlighting any change that has been made in the interface.
4- Buttons: changes of colour, shape or texture, swipes and animations or special effects can be used to provide useful visual information about how to carry out a certain task, while making calls to action much more attractive.The design possibilities are endless.
Put simply, if you want your interface to be useful while also letting your creativity flow (within limits), you can use highly original and fun microinteractions alongside music, animations and visual effects. They have a psychological and emotional impact on the user, making their browsing experience more pleasant and positive. This helps to create a brand image and retain their trust.
The difference between good service and excellent service lies in the small details.