Micro-interactions: The Interactive Web Design for Screens Big or Small

Micro-interactions are the very foundation of a web design that you create. You may not have realized it yet, but web services have become more engaging thanks to the contribution of these microelements that trigger an interaction. So every time you click on the Facebook Like button or tap on an option in your mobile app, you are Micro-interacting.

ux-787980_960_720Application of Micro-interactions for Immersive Interactive Web Design

The fundamental role of a User Interface design is to facilitate an action with elements that are easily accessible, understandable and usable.

A micro-interaction is a UI design element focused on single task-based user engagement.

The difference between what you see and what you love about an online user experience is because of these micro-interactions. These are one of the very big reasons working behind a successful mobile app.

A micro-interactive element is created based on the principle concept of Visual Design, Interaction Design and Information Architecture. It is responsible for holding the entire experience together, giving users the convenience of flowing through a design.

Here are some of the essential functions that Micro-interaction elements play when implemented in a web design –

  • Accomplish an isolated individual task
  • Communicate the feedback or the result of an action
  • Prevent any user error
  • Manipulate a setting

Part of the beauty of these micro-interactive elements is that these can be placed in various places on a web design. Whether it is highlighting a Call-to-Action button or designing a Hamburger’s Menu, a designer must be acquainted with how to design these Micro-interactions well. They need not be over elaborative but they need to be simply interactive.

The Work Structure of Micro-Interactions

Any Micro-interaction that you design comes looped in these four stage sequences and not more than that. These four stages are –


The trigger is a cultivation of emotional engagement that signifies users to take the Call-to-Action.

It is a visual impetus that drives the launch of an action. The subtle invitation created when the single move of a cursor on a hover image leads to a change in color is an example of a Trigger action.


Rules are a set of parameters that a Micro-interaction has to follow in order to make an action to take place. It’s like pushing the button of an elevator to make it make the car move.


Feedback is the result of an interaction. It lets a person know what is happening. Feedbacks are the small satisfying effects that enhance the user experience by giving them confidence in the usability of a design. You know that clicking on a particular service page tab will take you straight to the desired page.

Loops and Modes

Loops and modes are considerations that govern the repeated sequence of actions. Micro-interactions are brief design elements that are built to trigger repeated usage. These must be easily recognizable to the user no matter which device, website or an app a person uses.

Micro-interactions are designed to make a user interface approachable irrespective of the logic working behind it. However, designing a micro-interaction can be quite tricky. This is because these interactive elements are made up of subtle and minute details that can be easily overlooked by the designer. Here are some basics that you must be aware of when designing a micro-interactive element on your online business platform or tool of communication –

#1 – Create Simplicity

An element of action should always be recognizable to the user’s eyes no matter what color, typography or shape you use. Experimenting with new designs is good, but make sure that you do not violate the principle aspects that have been in use for ages. For example – the two bars that identify the function of a pause button on a music player. The implementation of the design has transformed over the ages and yet the practice remains the same.

#2 – Maintain Consistency

There should be consistency in the pattern of language, color, and layout of a web design. Users should feel comfortable with a particular pattern, which in turn helps to facilitate efficiency. When a user grows comfortable, he or she should be able to transfer the skill to the other parts of a website.

#3 – Consider the Purposefulness of a Page Layout

There should be a spatial relationship between the structure and the items on a page structure. Consider placing the elements where it is likely to draw more attention and will aid readability and scanning.

#4 – Make Strategic Use of Color and Texture

Use the right color, texture, contrast and light is important when it comes to directing and redirecting a user attention towards taking a particular action.

#5 – Create Clarity and Hierarchy with Typography

Different font sizes and the arrangement of the text can help to increase legibility, scan-ability, and readability. That is why it is important to consider how you make use of the typefaces on a particular Micro-interaction design.

#6 – Keep the Communication Going

There are instances where a site might need some more time in order to get an action complete. However, that does not mean that a user will be ignorant about it. This will get the user frustrated. Users like to engage with an online application, even when they have nothing to do but just wait with patience for the action to take place.

Interactive design interfaces keep a user enlightened about the ongoing progress of a particular action. Some of the common micro-interactive traits that are – The playing of a sound, the display of a graphic in the background and the measuring of bitrates.

#7 – Highlight the Changes

In order to save space, an app can simply replace a button with another when a user takes the desired triggered action. These are the little-animated changes that ensure that the user does not overlook an ongoing process of an action.

#8 – Ensure a Clear Navigation Throughout

Fitting a lot of information in a web design layout made for smartphones or smart watches can be difficult. A clear navigation in between the pages help to give the user a clear context as to what appears from where. This makes on to navigate back easily.

#9 – Follow the Rules of Animation

An animation is a key component of Micro-interaction design and has its own set of rules. It’ll be helpful for designers to brush up their knowledge on the best practices when incorporating animation in a micro-interactive element.

If you are not a pro when it comes to creating animated video interactions, then you might want to take a little bit of assistance (or help). Nowadays, the online world has a lot of video tutorials that people can search and learn anything that they want to. Apart from the video tutorials that are available on YouTube, you can also try out Udemy academic resource platform for complete training. Check out the Udemy review to have a clear insight before opting for any animation courses.

Practice of Micro-interactions in Web Design: For All that Matters is User Appeal

Effective web design with micro-interaction encourages deeper exploration by creating logical, timely and delightful responsive reactions to a particular user input.

You see, each interaction that is designed can be identified as thoughtful, whimsical but never distracting. These are your Micro-interactive elements for a web design.

Author’s Bio: Eric Haskell has over 15 years of experience in web development, programming, e-commerce, and business strategy experience. He focuses on solutions that merge current technologies, applications, and concepts together to help each client meet their goals with success. He also contributes articles for Palmetto Web Design, Columbia SC.

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