Microinteractions are contained 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. They are everywhere: in the devices we carry, the appliances in our house, the apps on our phones and desktops, even embedded in the environments we live and work in. Most appliances and some apps are built entirely around one microinteraction.
Microinteractions are good for:
- accomplishing a single task
- connecting devices together
- interacting with a single piece of data such as the temperature
- controlling an ongoing process such as music volume
- adjusting a setting
- viewing or creating a small piece of content like a status message
- turning a feature or function on or off
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Micro-Interactions: a designer’s superpower
Micro interactions have four parts:
- Triggers initiate a microinteraction. Triggers can be user-initiated or system initiated.
- In a user-initiated trigger, the user has to initiate an action.
- In a system-initiated trigger, software detects certain qualifications are being met and initiates an action.
- Rules determine what happens once a microinteraction is triggered.
- Feedback lets people know what’s happening. Anything a user sees, hears, or feels while a microinteraction is happening is feedback.
- Loops and Modes determine the meta-rules of the microinteraction. What happens to a microinteraction when conditions change?
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