Privacy is important to us, so you have the option of disabling certain types of storage that may not be necessary for the basic functioning of the website. Blocking categories may impact your experience on the website. More information

Cross icon

These items are required to enable basic website functionality.

Always active

These items are used to deliver advertising that is more relevant to you and your interests.

These items allow the website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language, or the region you are in) and provide enhanced, more personal features.

These items help the website operator understand how its website performs, how visitors interact with the site, and whether there may be technical issues.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
cookie icon
Micro interactions post Custom Cover
Micro interactions post Custom Cover

What is Micro Interaction & How Subtle Design Details Can Enhance UX?

September 19, 2023
Time reading
7 min

Do you want to create something exceptional that will wow your users? If so, you need to pay attention to the small details, known as micro interactions. When used effectively, they can add a touch of delight and engagement to your website or app. But be careful: they are tricky to use!

Table of contents

1. What is Micro Interaction? The Secret Ingredient to Great UX

Micro interactions are the small details that can make a huge difference in the overall user experience, even though you usually won’t notice them (unless you’re a UX designer). They can be as simple as a loading indicator or as complex as a form validation process, but they should always be designed with the user in mind.

The 4 parts of Micro Interactions (and How to Use Them)

Every micro Interaction is made out of four main parts: trigger, rules, feedback, and loops and modes.

  • Trigger 

Trigger is the event that initiates the micro interaction. It could be a user action (clicking, swiping, pressing a button, or scrolling) or a system even (timer expiring).

  • Rules

The rules determine what happens after the trigger of the micro interaction, including what actions are available to the user, provided feedback, and how the micro-interaction ends.

  • Feedback

Feedback is the response to a user's action that informs them about what happened and the status of the process, such as by changing the color, size, or position of an element.

  • Loops and mode

Loops and modes define the conditions under which a micro interaction can be repeated or changed.

Gif of 4 micro interactions - scroll,plus sign,bell, options menu

2. How Micro Interactions can Boost your UX 

When used effectively, micro interactions can make a big difference in the user experience, from the initial impression to the overall feel of the product. Let's take a look at some of the key benefits:

  • Increased emotional response

Micro interactions can provoke a wide range of emotions, from delight to a surprise to satisfaction. This can lead to users returning and recommending your products to others.

  • Boost usability and intuitiveness

Micro interactions can help users to understand what is happening and what they need to do next by providing clear and concise feedback.

  • Brand identity 

Micro interactions can create those wow moments that help users to associate your brand with positive emotions and experiences.

  • Increased engagement

Micro Interactions can help you boost your reach and engagement by making your product more and interactive.

  • Increased conversion rates

Micro interactions can increase your conversion rates by making it easier for users to complete a desired action, such as making a purchase.

3. The Ultimate Guide to Micro Interactions: Tips and Examples for 2023

Ready to add micro interactions to improve your user experience? We’ve got the best tips and tricks for you to start the right way. 

3.1. Essential tips for Designing Effective Micro Interactions

It’s not only about looking good, it’s about being subtle and purposeful. That’s the first step to implementing micro interactions as a way to keep your users informed and engaged. 

  • Understand the problem 

Put yourself in the shoes of the users and try to understand how they use your app. What are they struggling with? What can you do to make their experience better? 

  • Keep it smart

Micro interactions should not be jarring or disruptive.

The best design details are the ones that users don’t notice, but still make a positive impact on the UX.

  • Less is more

Avoid animations that take too long, as they may distract the user. Avoid adding too many bells and whistles, because it could make your design overwhelming and even annoying.

  • Be consistent

Micro interactions should be consistent with the overall design of the product. They should use the same style, colors, and typography.

  • Always test and analyze

To test your micro interactions, collect feedback from users and make sure they are responsive and engaging.

  • Have fun

After all, micro interactions should be more than just functional  – they should be enjoyable and engaging, so don’t be afraid to experiment with visuals, animations and sounds.

We hope you found those tips helpful. Now, let's take a look at some examples of micro interactions done well.

3.2. Еxamples

Micro interactions are all around us, from the simple tap of a button to the more complex animation of a loading bar.

  • Dropdown menus 

Dropdown menus allow users to select from a list of options and can be triggered by clicking on an arrow or by hovering over the element.

The Airbnb’s dropdown menu is a great example of a microinteraction that allows users to easily browse through a list of destinations. When users click on the "Where" tab in the top left corner of the screen, the menu expands to reveal a list of options.

airbnb dropdown menu animation
  • Search bars 

Search bars can be simple fields or more complex forms that allow users to find information by entering keywords.

The Google search bar is a simple, yet effective micro interaction that is instantly recognizable and easy to use. As you type, it provides clear and concise feedback, letting you know what you're searching for and how to refine your results.

Screenshot of Google's Search Bar
  • Loading indicators 

Loading indicators are simple progress bar or more complex animations that show a process, such as uploading a file.

The use of informative and animated loading bars as micro interactions is becoming increasingly popular on websites, as they can help to improve the user experience.

  • Swipe gestures 

Swipe gestures are a type of touch gesture that allows users to interact with a screen by swiping their fingers. They can be used to scroll through content, delete items, or perform other actions.

The Tinder swipe gesture is a simple yet effective micro interaction that is instantly recognizable and easy to use. It provides clear and concise feedback, letting you know whether you've liked or disliked a profile.

Swipe Gestures left and right
  • Reacting to Social Media Posts 

On social media, micro interactions can be used to add a personal touch to posts and make conversations more engaging. 

For example, Meta and Twitter allow users to react with emojis, which can help to express emotions and make conversations more meaningful.

Meta reactions micro interactions
  • Data input 

In the context of data input, micro interactions can be used to make the process more efficient, secure, and accurate. 

For example, many websites use a password strength marker to help users create passwords that are at least 8 characters long and contain a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.

Data input password gif
  • Current system status 

A micro interaction can show users how much of a task has been completed and help them to stay informed about the progress. It can also tell users what went wrong when an error occurs and help them to troubleshoot the problem.

For example, the progress bar on the Spotify app shows users how much of a song has been played.

Spotify song progress bar
  • Animation

Micro interactions can be enhanced with animation effects to make them more engaging and visually appealing. 

The bouncing animation on the Amazon checkout button makes it more engaging and satisfying to click. This can help to encourage users to complete the checkout process.

Amazon button checkout animation

4. Final words

Micro interactions are the building blocks of great UX. They're the small, but meaningful interactions that make up the overall user experience. When done well, micro interactions can help you create a more engaging, intuitive, and enjoyable experience for your users, which can lead to increased loyalty and profitability.

The benefits are what brings the users, but the details are what make them stay.

As a web agency, we understand the importance of micro interactions in creating great UX. We can help you use them to improve the UX of your website or app, making it more user-friendly, engaging, and memorable. 

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you wow your users and boost your bottom line!

Founder Miroslav Ivanov with crossed arms on a background, which contains screenshots of finished websites.
Need expert assistance?
We've got you covered.
Let's Talk
black arrow pointing up

asked questions

What are micro interactions in UX?

Microinteractions are small, intentional moments in a user interface. They can help improve the overall user experience your website delivers.

Why are micro interactions important in UX?

They provide feedback, communicate status, or guide the user through a task. For this reason, they are essential for the whole user experience and can have a tremendous impact on the overall time spent on the website.

What is a good example of micro interaction?

There are many good examples of micro-interactions, but the most notable of them all is the like button on social media. It changes color, it animates and a heart icon appears.

What are the benefits of micro interactions?

Micro-interactions can help a product to become easier to understand and use as well as enjoyable by adding a touch of delight and personality. Mainly they help a user to complete tasks more quickly and easily.

What is UX design and Interaction Design?

UX Design is all about improving the overall user experience, while interaction design is about the specific interactions that help users navigate or use a product or service.