"Microinteractions" Book Writeup

July 08, 2013

What’s the point?
Microinteractions are the small moments of action we take in a product — the details that together make up a feature. The design of these interactions can make a product more memorable, more enjoyable and easier to use.

How was it?
Really good — I think this book fills a missing gap for a skill set that is becoming increasingly important. This kind of delightful UX is going to be a key differentiator for products and this book is a must-read.

The book wastes no time diving into the structure of a microinteraction:

  • Trigger - either user or system initiated, something has to kick off the interaction
  • Rules - the constraints for an interaction (what can or can’t be done, what order, how to prevent errors)
  • Feedback - help the users understand the Rules of the microinteraction, determine the best channel for communication (visual, audio, haptic)
  • Loops / Modes - use long loops to remember past interactions or improve on them over time; limit modes to infrequent actions as much as possible

Each of these steps are broken down and explained with plenty of examples for real applications. There is also a really great list of questions to help fix dull microinteractions that I wish I had for several of my past projects at work.

This is a great reference that I can point to when trying to describe how to build a delightful user experience. It is a concept that is hard to explain and having a common language and framework will be very helpful going forward.

Who should read it?
Any developer or designer that wants to work on user-facing products should read this book ASAP and then go try to implement the concepts in their own work.

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