The importance of micro-interactions in web development

2/29/2016,
by Anna Umanenko, CMO
micro-interactions in web development

 

The introduction of touch screens introduced a navigation feature called micro-interaction that ensures fast and easy user engagement with website content. Today, micro-interactions are both standard desktop and mobile features that help create focus, improve conversions and directly influence user experience.

How micro-interactions optimize user engagement

Micro-interaction elements do not necessarily represent large icons or images on a screen, but their role in site navigation is significant.

Choosing one song or another on a music player, putting ‘like’ or adding a comment on social media, switching on or off certain features on a website, viewing a message or notification - all these are examples of micro-interactions that enhance a user’s experience.

It is always important for a user to interact and actually see the proof that the action has been performed. At the same time, micro-interactions serves as a tool to educates a user about a new functionality and provides instruction hints on how to complete a certain action or navigate through a website.

According to Google, responsive micro-interactions help users in exploration of a mobile app content since they provide reactions to users’ actions in real time and urge them to further engage with the app content.  In emerging technologies, such as Apple Watch and fitness trackers, interaction with a device is fully based on micro-interactions.

That’s why correct location and implementation of micro-interactions as part of design planning helps improve a user’s comfort.

 

micro-interactions in wearables

 

How to use micro-interactions on a site effectively

The micro-interaction web design takes into consideration the following aspects:

  • Defining the audience focus to provide the micro-interaction an appropriate voice in terms of language and syntax
  • User interaction with the site should never be interrupted by a micro-interaction. The user, when appropriate, should choose them.
  • Micro-interactions should be designed for use and availability, particularly if the micro-interaction is needed throughout the website.
  • Animation is an excellent way to turn micro-interactions into catchy page elements, but should be used sparingly and only if it is appropriate for a selected functionality.
  • Good micro-interactions never distract a user, so color choice should be related to the rest of the design and are simple.

In the development of website content, micro-interactions serve as mediators between machines and human engagement, so the technical part of website navigation becomes more understandable by a user and gains “personality” features through design elements.

Such “personality” features allow micro-interactions to effectively relate to the brand’s image and positioning and help us better connect with the digital world. That’s why, where appropriate to the site’s content, micro-interactions may be presented as fun and entertaining elements or displayed as features that bring up the idea of expertise and professionalism.

For landing pages, micro-interactions are most effective for the development of call-to-actions. Current web design trends make call-to-actions look pretty much the same, but since these page areas play such an important role in turning visitors into potential or actual customers, “Call to Action” micro-interactions may assist in persuading an individual to make an action, such as register, click for more information, or share with others.


Read more:

1. A checklist to ensure your website is doing its job

2. 5 thoughts about using images on a website

Stay tuned with the latest technology trends and projects.
Subscribe to Onix blog to receive interesting content right in your inbox.