Micro interactions in Design

Have you ever thought of the minute details used in mobile applications or websites that enhance the user experience? These are called ‘ Microinteractions’.  Basically, they are single interactive moments in a product that enhance the workflow and make a product more enjoyable. 

What Are Microinteractions?

They are trigger-feedback pairs occurring on your website, app, or device. In fact, we are surrounded by them in our everyday lives. The user experience is everything a user sees and feels about your app that includes clearly defined information, structured design, and more. A critical part of that user experience is micro-interactions. Often underlooked, they serve a crucial purpose in breaking down what’s happening behind the scenes and are a vital part of nailing down that perfect first impression.

Microinteractions work on a standard four steps. These are;

1- Trigger: a trigger is the start of the micro-interactions. It can be initiated by the user or the system itself. User-initiated microinteractions can be pressing a button, swiping, scrolling, or clicking; system-initiated triggers, on the other hand, happen when certain qualifications are met, and the system decides to initiate a trigger. For example, a pop-up animation, or a notification can be system triggered.

2- Rules: determine what happens after the trigger is initiated.

3- Feedback: is what happens once the trigger is initiated, basically, everything the user hears, sees, or feels (e.g. vibration) counts as feedback. For example, when you swipe, that is a trigger; and the animation you see on the screen (changing the colors, highlights, or the screen in an animated way) is the feedback.

4- Loops & Modes: determine the meta-rules of the microinteraction, they are needed when the conditions of the micro-interactions change. They may not be a part of the initial design, but they are important for user satisfaction.

Why Are Microinteractions Important?

One of the greatest joys of using technology comes through user empowerment and engagement. An enjoyable experience means more than just usability — it needs to be engaging, and that’s where micro-interactions can play a macro role, by positively contributing to the look and feel of a product or service.

Microinteractions can improve a product’s user experience by

  • Encouraging engagement
  • Displaying system status
  • Providing error prevention
  • Communicating brand
  • They improve a website navigation
  • They make it easier for users to interact with your website
  • They provide instant and relevant feedback about a completed action to a user
  • They give tips to your users
  • They communicate information about certain elements, like whether or not it’s interactive
  • They make the user experience much more rewarding
  • They encourage sharing, liking, and commenting on your content
  • They direct users’ attention
  • And, finally, they just make your site more emotional

Ways To Improve User Experience Through Microinteractions

Consumers often make purchase decisions online in a matter of seconds. Therefore, it’s important from a business perspective to create multiple microinteractions that provide immediate feedback and entertain users.

By optimizing these microinteractions, we can guide users through the entire customer journey. Users can choose from several different products, add them to a shopping cart, receive feedback on the items they have added, then be reminded to complete the purchase.

Identify users’ wants and needs in order to create clear calls to action throughout the entire process. Keep it fun and simple with minimal effort required. The use of microinteractions is meant to engage users and keep them focused. Stay away from heavy animations since it will take more effort to load and might confuse a user.

  • Simplicity is key: Keep your web design sleek and modern so users can focus on completing the necessary milestones towards conversion.
  • Details, details, details: Pay attention to detail. Since microinteractions are small, the details within will need to be minimal yet impactful. Each interaction needs to be meaningful and necessary.
  • Human-centered interactions: Incorporate user-centric web design by troubleshooting where they might go wrong.
  • Response time: Have a fast and effective response time to ensure that users know they have completed certain tasks and can move on to the next objective.
  • The balance between animation and information: Include compelling images and helpful information side by side to demonstrate the flow of your design.
  • Clear call to action: Emphasize what the next step is. Some examples of micro-interaction features include a form fill, system status, interactive tutorials, and red buttons.

Remember that microinteractions are small moments with powerful results. These microinteractions are incredibly influential because their functions intertwine with how users interact with our brand. Some of the best website designs integrate microinteractions to encourage their users to participate and create habits. By incorporating powerful microinteractions into our design we can improve user experience and above all create dynamic and responsive interactions.

When to use them ?

Few examples are as follows:

1. Swipe 

The Swipe action eliminates tapping and is much more interactive and smooth. It helps the user quickly switch between the tabs and acquire more information about the product. Furthermore, swiping is a very common gesture and guides the users subconsciously without making them think; just like we have been reading ‘Don’t make your users think’. What more? It’s insanely fun and addictive.

2. Data Input 

All of us know the frustrations of setting up a password or creating an account. This action can easily raise hackles. While proactive suggestions on password strength and usage makes it easy for users to proceed ahead, some interactive interactions at the time of data input also keep users engaged with the process and help accomplish the goal.

3. Animations 

Animation simply enables and improves micro-interactions. They personify good design; their presence might not be noticed but absence takes a toll on everyone. They act like a glue that helps designers make the simplest of processes interesting and addictive. But be very careful as they are meant to engage the users and not distract or frustrate them; delayed processing or introducing new styles in websites might cause confusion.

4. Current System Status

It is essential to keep the user informed about the current status happening on a site or app. If the users are not informed chances are that they will get annoyed and close the site or app. Micro interactions lets the user know exactly what is going on, how long it will take the process to complete etc. Even failure messages can be humorous yet effective to retain trust of the user.

5. Call to Action Microinteractions 

essentially nudges the user to interact with an application or website. Call to action instills a feeling of achievement and also an empathy factor in user behavior and the best way to make your user interact with CTA is to make it engaging to entice interest of the user.

6. Animated Buttons

They play the role of information manager by letting the user know their way through your app or site. We need to pay attention to color, shape, special effects, animations, placement, and texture to make the user experience seamless.


Well-designed microinteractions can make a big impact on your user experience. They provide value by serving as a vehicle to communicate with the user. Microinteractions provide visual feedback of the system status or help users to prevent errors. Additionally, microinteractions can enrich your product by communicating brand, which thereby encourages users to select your product over your competitors. In sum, these little details can transform a good product into a great product, and a disengaged user into an engaged user.