Why are some products so fun to use? The answer may not be so obvious, but microinteractions could have something to do with it.
Microinteractions are small, subtle interactions within a product or service that create a sense of delight and engagement for the user. They can take many forms, such as a pull-to-refresh gesture on a mobile app, or the way the volume icon bounces when you adjust the volume on your phone. These small details can greatly enhance the user experience by making a product feel more responsive, intuitive, and enjoyable to use.
Imagine using apps or websites that don’t give you any feedback when you hover, click, or drag. How would you know an action happened or was about to happen? Would you be excited to use them again?
According to Nielsen Norman Group, microinteractions can improve a product’s user experience by:
- Encouraging engagement
- Displaying system status
- Providing error prevention
- Communicating brand
“I think I’ve used microinteractions the most for providing feedback after an input,” said Allovus Studio Designer Shon Dempsey. “For example, when you use the volume buttons on your phone, an animation appears that tells you something was pressed, and indicates the ‘what happened,’ (i.e., volume icon + the progress bar showing volume level.) This typically involves micro-animations like the shadow or color shift while hovering over a button—again, showing that this object will do something.”
Allovus Studio Design Lead Jenn Hergert agrees. “There’s also an angle to this that improves accessibility/usability in general… just making it more obvious to users how things should work.”
Check out these examples of microinteractions in this article: “How Micro Interactions have become an essential part of great products.”