The Art of Microinteractions for Mobile App Development: 5 Simple Tips

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Today, UI and UX beauty lies in details. UI and UX are adopting advanced motion design techniques, and microinteractions are one of their successful experiments.

WHAT EXACTLY ARE MICROINTERACTIONS?

Microinteractions are subtle animations that encourage a user to interact with the product in an intuitive manner by keeping a user entertained with small moments and directing them towards accomplishing a single task.

They connect UI with UX, where functionality meets design. Some examples of microinteractions are the reactions in social media posts, thumbs up in Facebook messenger, and the “skip intro” button on Netflix.

1. Don’t go overboard, stick to simple ones

We can understand the excitement of adding microinteractions in your mobile app but hold your horses. Anything in excess can turn into a disaster. Follow the KISS rule—keep it simple and subtle here (not stupid).

Remember the purpose of microinteractions is to lead the user to the original task and not distract them. Better, design them in such a way that they disappear after revealing their purpose. In this way, the microinteraction will be carried out without bringing the user off the track.

2. Microinteractions at the right place can work wonders

If the microinteraction is not serving any purpose, it shouldn’t be there. It’s all about little moments you create for users. Hence it is very important where you place them. As per the rule of thumb, using microinteractions in the following places can enhance the users’ experience.

  • As a visual aid between views
  • For emotional responses
  • As hints to inform what will happen when user complete actions
  • As hierarchical relationships between elements
  • As a visual distraction
  • To highlight changes
  • To visualize Input
  • To enhance the sense of direct manipulation

3. It’s for users, not you

The fun of implementing microinteractions on your app can be such that you may get off track. Remember whatever you are doing on your app, it’s the users who are going to use it in the end, so put yourself in their shoes and design. Only user-centric apps make it to the top and if your app is giving a great UX through microinteractions to the users along with aesthetically pleasing design, smooth performance, and amazing functionality, your app is a hit!

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4. Test, test and never surrender

No one gets it entirely right the first time. Testing is the most important part of the design process. And with microinteractions, you need to be extra careful. You must conduct a series of tests about the usability, functioning, and results of your microinteractions until you feel it is right. Test keeping your users in mind:

  • How do they expect it to work?
  • What are their impressions?
  • What do they want the microinteraction to remember about them?
  • What issues did they encounter?

You can also run a test to collect quantitative data points like:

Completion rate: The percentage of users who were able to finish the microinteraction

Duration: How long did the users take to complete a microinteraction

Number of steps: To identify inefficiencies and how can it be simplified

The number of errors: Both human and machine error

5. Make use of the best and helpful effects

Use shape morphing, slow motions, and storyboard designs where you can set a positive user flow. Some good examples of microinteraction effects are motion blur, motions stretch, swipe actions, animated buttons, and transition animations.

Give users similar functionality as Google does with their ‘Translate this page’ option. The latest version of Gmail is also another good example of microinteractions with intuitive responses. With its auto-generated responses depending on the contents of the email, half of the work of users have now been automated.

CONCLUSION

Microinteractions today make an important aspect in mobile app development since people use apps to lessen their load and when microinteractions make things further easier for them, they will love it. Users enjoy using mobile apps when they are interacting and appealing, the correct implementation of microinteractions will make users attract to apps more and keep them involved with your service thus improving your app rates and stats even more.

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This article was submitted by Yuvrajsinh Vaghela of Space-O Technologies and does not constitute the views or opinions of Upwork. Find out how you can publish your content on the Hiring Headquarters.

Yuvrajsinh Vaghela

by @spaceotech

Yuvrajsinh is a Marketing Manager at Space-O Technologies. Being the member of the mobile app development company, he spends most of his time researching on… more