How Micro-interactions Help you Improve your Website Design?
Posted: Feb 01, 2016
Micro-interactions have the power to change the perception of your visitors about your website, though they normally get a little attention. After all, who likes to change the password over and again? But overlooking them completely is a huge mistake. The only slightest difference between the features we tolerate and the features we love is often the micro-interactions associated with them. Micro-interactions can turn your website from boring and dull to interesting and enjoyable. Consequently, it reduces the bounce rate and increases the sales leads.
Why micro-interactions are the secret to great design?
As a designer, adding micro-interactions is as important as realizing their importance. It is the responsibility of the designer to build something that not only accomplishes a task but also attracts the attention of the user.
As a matter of fact, all of us come across micro-interactions from dawn to dusk. From switching on the lights to ringing a bell, you engage with micro-interactions every time. They are everywhere: in your room, in your laptop, in your Smartphone, in your appliances and devices you carry, though you don’t bother about them much. It is simply because you encounter them every now and then and they have also become a regular thing.
This brings it to the job of the designer who needs to create something that catches the eye of the user and make them stick for long.
What makes micro-interaction is its structure. Its structure contains four major components including:
The trigger, in general term, is what activates something. Similarly, in micro-interaction, a trigger is what that starts it. This can be a manual or automatic control like clicking a button on the screen, or merely filling up a sign-in form. Apart from this, there is one more type of trigger which is even more interesting – a system trigger.
A system trigger occurs when your system pings on email or message arrival. These triggers occur when some conditions meet. Though there are many different types of system triggers, the best ones are those that foresee the user’s needs without having to inform manually. These simply are created by observing the users behavior.
As an instance, if a user has the habit of reading technology news whenever he/she logs into a news site, a micro-interaction which presents hottest technology news immediately when he/she logs in is a great option. It never starts from zero. You have certain information about the users which can be used in your favor.
Rules are the second main component of micro-interaction, which explains the dos and don’ts of the micro-interaction. These rules decide what happens, when it happens, and in which order it should happen.
Feedback, as the name suggests, is the feedback we get when a micro-interaction happens. This explains the end-user what is happening. Feedback can be in many forms such as visual, haptic, or aural.
4. Loops & Modes:
Loops and modes decide how long and how many times the micro-interaction occurs. Would the micro-interaction suppose to end immediately, or does it suppose to repeat itself?
How to integrate micro-interaction in your website design?
1. Highlight changes:
Usually, a website replaces a button with another to save space and time. Therefore, it becomes essential to notify users about it just to ensure they have noticed the difference and also to avoid confusion. And nothing works better than animation to make them realize the change that you probably would have missed otherwise.
2. Keep context
In the era of parallax and responsive design, sometime it is difficult to fit everything on one single page. One of the best ways to keep everything clean and neat to offer easy navigation between pages so that the user is able to understand what is going on the website and can easily navigate back if needed.
3. Visualize input:
Who wouldn’t like to visualize the data input? They are the crucial elements of the websites. There isn’t any site that does not have registration and log-in forms. Though these data input is important for a website, it is the most frustrating thing for a user. Who likes to browse a site that asks to create an account first to access its services? The truth is: Nobody does! But how about showing the same thing in an interactive way that encourages the users to register or login over and again? Adding a cute micro-interaction can indeed solve the issue.
4. Display system status:
System statuses are important part of any website. Whether your website is taking time to load the media you’ve uploaded to the website, or merely all the useful content, if the users are not entertained on your website within the first 5 seconds of opening the website, they’re gone. Therefore, it is important to keep them informed what’s happening on your site even if it’s taking some time for loading. So, the interface must keep the visitors progressive about what is going on by showing a measuring bitrates, graphic in the background, or merely playing a much-loved song. The same rule applies to file transfer: don’t let them get bored while your system is transferring the files. Even a sad notification such as a file transfer failed must be delivered in an interesting way which doesn’t make your user frustrate. Make your user smile!
So, if you really value the user experience on your website, polish your interface, add a little zest and breathe life into it with micro-interactions and animations and see the difference.
Emma Watson is a web developer by profession, a writer by hobby and works for Wordsuccor, a reputed brand that Convert PSD to WordPress Website for global clientele.