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The Friendly Effect: Micro UX

The Friendly Effect: Micro UX
July 15, 2014 Alyssa Nolte

What is Micro UX?

We’re including Micro UX in our New Trends in UX series but truth be told, Micro UX isn’t new at all. In fact, you’ve been using, interacting with, and experiencing Micro UX since the dawn of technology. So why are we talking about Micro UX as a new trend? Well, because never before have designers used it so intentionally to create interactive and dynamic creations for end-users. And never before has it been seen as a way to increase conversions and engagement for the user.

Micro UX, sometimes called microinteractions, are:

product moments that revolve around a single use case—they have one main task. Every time you change a setting, sync your data or devices, set an alarm, pick a password, log in, set a status message, or favorite or “like” something, you are engaging with a microinteraction. – Dan Saffer

Why Should You Pay Attention to Microinteractions?

The question we always have to ask ourselves as designers is, why do we care? Why do we care about microinteractions? The reason, because Micro UX and microinteractions give the impression of dynamic and friendly design for our user.

  1. Facebook’s like button allows us to engage and in a minute way, express our interest in the topic in our newsfeed. Prior to this addition, our only option was to comment, a much more involved and intrusive experience.
  2. The same can be said for the pull to refresh example shown above, we already have a refresh button but Micro UX encourages the designer to think about how to make the content useful and engaging for the end-user. Pull to refresh makes the experience dynamic and seamless, allowing the end-user to engage with more content without even lifting their finger.
  3. Have you ever used a chat system that didn’t include the typing indicator or do you remember a time before they were used? Now we have more information and using microinteractions, we can see if our chat buddy is typing, if they’ve paused but left text in the chat box, or if they’ve seen our message. All of this information improves the chat experience.

Micro UX doesn’t always have to be so obvious. Sometimes a simple color change when you hover over something, lightboxing, or dynamic percentage bars add to your user’s experience when interacting with a page.

Keep Micro UX in mind when you design your next App or Website, these small elements may make the difference between a conversion and an exit.

 

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