The whole world can be hidden and encoded in the smallest detail. We should pay special attention to details since they often influence the way we feel life.

The same we can say about in-app micro-interactions. These are details that can make or break your mobile app user experience design. It depends only on the UX designer’s sense of unobtrusiveness. A good designer should be a great marketer at the same time and prevent the situation when the design starts to be intrusive.

The designer should predict the user’s next step, create a design that provides people with the needed information, and guide them in the mobile app journey with the help of micro-interactions.

In this article, we’ll uncover the essential tips in the micro-interaction design and the main micro-interaction types that make a user experience smooth and intuitive.

Don’t Be Intrusive. It Kills The UX

Every designer and marketer should always keep this in mind. No matter, you are intrusive in the advertising or in the micro-interaction design – it kills the UX and makes people subconsciously hate your product.

Your primary mission is to create a pretty product with a great user experience design that makes people fall in love with a brand after the first interaction. Make your micro-interactions as intuitively understood and predictable as possible. Sure, you can rarely use micro-interactions as the cute surprises to add a feeling of the adventure into your mobile app. However, you should keep in mind The Designer’s first commandment – don’t be intrusive in your design.

People Are People. Entertain Them

Today, user interfaces are even more ‘alive’ than ever. There are a lot of new trends that make a mobile UI design ‘alive,’ and a micro-interaction is one of them.

Animated icons designed by Patrik Svoboda

If I didn’t believe in the ‘aliens-are-among-us’ theory, I would say that all of us are people… and all of us love when a brand communicates with customers in the more ‘human’ way. Try to be human in your marketing, design, and even in the smallest details such as the micro-interactions. They can play a significant role in your mobile app design by entertaining users, eliminating the negative user experience, and increasing customer loyalty.

Imagine the funny micro-interactions appearing when a mobile banking app is experiencing some issues. We can admit when it comes to the issues during financial operations people literally get crazy. That is why designers should pay more effort to create a design that decreases the user’s psychological tension in such a stressful situation.

One of the main purposes of a micro-interaction is to delight a user, to give birth to the engaging moment of communication between a user and a product.

Use Motion For A Positive Emotion

Cute micro-interaction designed by Arturo Ríos Gutiérrez

I can swear you have started your day with the micro-interaction. Just remind the moment when you have switched off the alarm clock on your mobile device. Micro-interactions have become almost invisible for us, however, they saturate our daily lives. They simplify our interactions with mobile products, although sometimes we don’t even notice them. Designers care about our emotional comfort creating tiny micro-interactions that make our app experience much smoother.

We start appreciating well-designed micro-interactions only after we faced the clumsy form or a mobile app that irritate us. Then, we begin to understand what those tiny in-app details have made to preserve our psychological comfort.

Moreover, you can use interactive tips to guide a user through your mobile app. Micro-interactions can communicate information about specific elements and make the overall user experience more rewarding. All these details make a mobile app UX more emotional, evoke the positive user’s emotional response, and prevent the negative user experience.

6 Examples of Micro-Interactions In Mobile App Design

Search app micro-interaction

Rule #1: Be short and sweet. Try to avoid over-complexity when designing the micro-interactions. They can guide people inside an app and entertain them at the same time. Catch the time needed to let the micro-interaction happen smoothly and make not break the UX harmony.

Below, you can see a great example of the search app micro-interaction. The magnifying glass looks very cute when it jumps out, extending into the whole search line and motivating you to start the search.

Search app micro-interaction designed by Muhammad Zain

Preloading micro-interaction

Rule #2. People hate waiting. Eliminate psychological tension caused by waiting during the loading process. On the one hand, it helps to prevent the negative user experience when waiting. On the other hand, it increases user loyalty making people smile if the micro-interaction is funny. Just look at that small guy ‘pumping’ the loading process in the mobile app. He will not only calm your mind when waiting but also transform the loading time into fun and pleasure.

Loading animation designed by Allen Zhang

Pull-to-fresh micro-interaction

Rule #3. Keep in mind that each motion should be a small part of a big UX puzzle when you develop a mobile app. Let micro-interactions flow harmoniously from one into another, let each micro-interaction become the continuation of the previous one. In the pull-to-fresh micro-interaction designed by Tato Mamulashvili, the initial motion starts when the user pulls to fresh, then it changes into the rolling ball that transforms into the image jumping out on the screen. It looks like a smooth and continuous action.

Pull-to-fresh animation by Tato Mamulashvili

Animated event micro-interaction

Rule #4. Let the micro-interaction be tangible feedback to a user’s action. Try to design an empirical model that works in your mobile app the same as in the real world. When touching something physically people expect to get a response to their completed action. In other words, they expect to see that something happens after their touch. Animated event micro-interaction is a perfect way to inform users about the completed action. Imagine, each time you tap buttons in the app it activates the whole algorithm of actions and events that lead to the user’s purpose. You can accompany each completed operation with a slight vibration or light effect. Then, everything will feel like a merged, beautiful, and smooth interaction.

Event micro-interaction designed by Ramon

Rule #5. Help a user navigate in the app using micro-interactions. Easy navigation is a number 1 point influencing the overall mobile app user experience. Let micro-interactions inform users where they should tap to go to the expected screen or get the desired effect. The well-designed navigation micro-interaction can help breathe life into a mobile application. Because the most common thing we do in an app is navigation. If it feels like ‘alive’, it can significantly improve the general impression from a mobile app.

Navigation micro-interaction designed by Jackson T Owen

Tab micro-interaction

Rule #6. Emphasis the essential things with the help of a micro-interaction.

Tab bar is the perfect place for this. Cute and almost invisible animation in the tab bar will additionally inform users that they have tapped the icon which they exactly wanted and haven’t tapped something by mistake. Moreover, it’s one more place where a designer can express a mobile app mood and style.

Tab micro-interaction designed by Purrweb UX team

Achieve Macro-Results With Micro-Interactions

These almost intangible and invisible animated motions can make for the mobile app UX much more that you might imagine. Guide users during the mobile app journey using mobile micro-interactions, update them with important information, make them smile, and you will increase customer loyalty. Moreover, you will also eliminate the negative user experience when the app issues occur.

We hope that the tips and types of micro-interactions mentioned above will help you create in-app magic and craft the memorable mobile experience that will not leave users indifferent.