A Concise Guide on Microinteractions in Design

5minutes read
microinteraction design

Microinteractions are actions that we ignore, but perform many times a day. For example, swiping on a smartphone screen to refresh a page or play a video: all of these are microinteractions. UX design is constantly developing. Nowadays, we can work with the smallest interactions in the user interface. With a professional approach to the process, microinteractions are hugely beneficial and help to improve user experience. So, let’s read our article to learn about microinteractions in detail. Enjoy!

What are microinteractions?

what is microinteraction
scheme of work of microinteractions

Microinteractions are small actions that have a single goal and purpose – user satisfaction. Such microinteractions can be introduced as small animations. But the main objective is to inform the user that the action or task is completed.

Read more about types of mobile app animations to enhance your UX design.

The three main tasks of microinteractions:

  • To prevent the user from making a mistake;
  • Inform about the result of actions and feedback;
  • Aim to accomplish a specific task.

Three basics of microinteractions

There are three fundamental questions when dealing with micro-interactions:

  • What can happen?

The users should be aware of what can happen if they act. For example, swiping to the left in Gmail can add an email to the archive. An icon on a green background indicates this.

micro interactions examples
examples of microinteractions
  • What is happening now?

Use accompanying animated micro-interactions when performing a specific sequence of actions. For example, registration. It would be better to inform the user about the accurateness of his actions and the result.

For example, when logging into an account. If you enter the data incorrectly, you will know it by seeing a red warning.

microinteractions UX examples
example of microinteractions work
  • What has already happened?

After performing a microinteraction, the user should know the result of the action, for example, the “Follow” button on Instagram.

user-friendly UX by microinteractions
clarity of action by microinteractions

How microinteractions work

Micro-interactions can be broken down into four components:

microinteractions components
work of microinteractions


Triggers start the interaction. There are two kinds of triggers:

  • triggered initiated by the user(or manual triggers)
  • system triggers

Manual triggers are activated when there is an intentional interaction with a product. For example: pressing a button or clapping your hands.

System triggers are set automatically if the conditions required for triggering are met – for example, a short beep when you receive an email.


The rules are the conditions under which microinteractions take place. For example, what happens if the user clicks here?


Feedback is informing the user that an action has been completed. It can be in the form of a sound signal, vibration, or visual notification.

Loops and modes

A loop is the duration of microinteractions.

Will the micro-interactions be repeated? For example, you receive an email asking you to confirm your phone number or enter a code from the SMS or email when you register. This action takes a certain amount of time, and if it ends, you will be informed about it.

Modes change the usual action of functions. For example, the “Don’t disturb” feature on your smartphone.

Don't know how to design microinteractions?

Gapsy team is ready to help you! Press the button and we will contact you.

The benefits of microinteractions

What about the benefits of microinteractions? Let’s look at how microinteractions improve your website and mobile app UX design.

Simplify navigation

The main rule is that micro-interactions aren’t decoration. Instead, each of them serves a specific purpose and objective. So, one of the functions of micro-interactions is making use of the product quickly and conveniently. In other words, to guide the users from operation to operation and prompt what to do next or return to the previous action.

Make your product memorable

well-known microinteraction
famous microinteraction example

Qualitatively executed interaction performs not only its direct task of helping and alerting the user. This small design component will make your product recognizable on the market.

Like Facebook’s famous logo “Like.” This little animated microinteraction has become a company’s hallmark.

You can read how to design a great logo in our blog.

Microinteractions in UX make it palpable

“The details are not the details. They make the design.”Charles Eames

According to Dan Saffer’s insights, the success of digital products is determined by little things.

Based on his research, we can claim that a digital product consists of features and details. Features are the functions that the product can perform and, as a result, motivate the user to use the product. Details are small design decisions that make a product unique and make the UX complete. Micro-interactions are those details that allow users to “touch” the UX design. In other words, micro-interactions are the bridge that connects people and technology, digital experiences, and real-world actions.

Allow the user to control the situation

There are ten essential rules for user interface design by Jacob Nielson. One of them is that the user should be aware of what is happening and what will happen. This can be achieved through micro-interactions. By adding small animated movements to functional elements, you, as the designer, give the user a sense of control and a clear notion that each click triggers an action. This makes your product comfortable to use and encourages the user to use it again.

Tips on how to design microinteractions to improve UX

A lot of work is done for the sake of users’ commitment to the product. Micro-interactions are one way to get the desired engagement. Let’s discuss how to improve UX design with micro-interactions.

  • Remember that the animation isn’t just for the site’s layout but plays a functional role, which would be more helpful to the user.
  • Think about the users’ experience. The feelings they get from using the product are directly related to further cooperation. If the experience received during the interaction with the product is pleasant and memorable, it guarantees that the users will return.
  • Don’t overcomplicate. Make microinteractions as exciting and straightforward as possible. The user should be able to figure out what to do with the suggested functions efficiently.
  • Feature-packed doesn’t mean good.
  • Do not overload the site with animations. In such cases, you can get a negative effect. A large number of animated micro-interactions can be annoying to the user.
  • Imagine yourself in the user’s shoes. And based on that, make everything convenient and straightforward. Don’t forget about the transitions between animations. They should be smooth and precise.


Microinteractions are small details that have a significant impact on the product’s success. They help the user not get lost in the site and make your product complete by creating an overall picture.

Micro-interactions contribute to a better site conversion, so it’s worth paying particular attention to it during development. Gapsy Studios can do it. Contact us, and we will help you to create something unique. Check out the finished projects on Behance and Dribbble. And also take a look at the services we provide.

Rate this article

20 ratings
Average: 4.9 out of 5

If you like what we write, we recommend subscribing to our mailing list to always be aware of new publications.

Do you have any questions? We tried to answer most of them!