You bundle up your dirty washing, take it all the way to the laundry and pop it into the machine. You carefully add the right amount of washing liquid and push the buttons to begin your cycle. But nothing happens. There’s no sounds that plays when you turn the machine on, or when you select your cycle, and no indicator lights recognising and acknowledging your actions. You’d think your machine was broken, right? Same goes for user experience online.
Same goes for user experience online. If there’s no action or acknowledgement of a users action online, they can feel frustrated or that their wishes aren’t being heard and responded to.
A Microinterwhatsit? A Microinteraction.
Microinteractions are the magic little things that keep us coming back to the products we love. They’re the satisfying little details that happen when we perform a single task. They humanize products and make them more enjoyable to use. How so? Well Nick Babich was able to sum it up in one word, acknowledgement. Humans have a very real need to feel acknowledged. We want our actions to be accepted and validated and need that reassurance. Other humans react to everything we do, so it feels more human when the things we interact with do it too. Just think about it, in a world without them we would be constantly frustrated and second guessing if our actions caused anything to happen.
It’s not rocket science! But a simple reminder that sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.