A graduation internship study on micro interactions and their impact on brand experience.
A micro interaction is a small interaction between a system and it’s user. The micro interaction is there to provide feedback to the user to let it know what is happening.
Example: The animation when turning on the wifi on your device.
Depending on the online presence of your brand micro interactions can have a significant impact on the user experience. Which adds to the brand experience.
Want to know how? Keep reading to know what I discovered in the study!
What impact do micro interactions have on brand experience?
To answer the question what the impact is micro interactions have on the brand experience we need to ask what the impact is of UX on brand experience?
Micro interactions and UX go hand in hand as micro interactions are a part of the UX of a product. They’re small but very significant as they can have a big impact.
UX & Brand Experience
In the last decade UX has risen to be one of the top priorities for online brands. As society keeps getting more adapted to everything being digitally available, brands need to be able to deliver their story and experience through digital means. Which is where UX comes in.
If the UX of your product isn’t up to standard, you might miss out on customers and potential customers might get a bad impression of your brand.
Where as your UX is perfect, you might gain even more customers, and they might even return to your product.
Which already answers the question if UX is important for the brand experience.
However this doesn’t apply as much to brands that don’t have an online presence.
The psychology of micro interactions
So what effect do micro interactions have on the user experience? Micro interactions can either enhance the experience or have a bad influence if designed wrong.
How do micro interactions enhance the user experience?
Micro interactions are able to lower the cognitive load. What is the cognitive load you might ask. Just like a computer, humans have a working memory which means humans can only process a certain amount of information at a time. This is called the cognitive load theory.
When a human experiences a high cognitive load, their ability to learn and process new information lowers and leads to frustration.
Example: when there are too many options or elements on a website.
A low cognitive load has the opposite effect. It improves the ability to take in information and leaves the user satisfied.
Micro interactions help guide you in a small way that you almost don’t notice, hence the name. They give the user feedback. So the user understands what is happening, which lowers the cognitive load.
Example: The like button on instagram fills in when a photo is liked.
However while they can help lower the cognitive load, if designed wrongly they can also make the load bigger.
So how do you design a micro interaction right or wrong?
Micro interactions should be designed to bring delight to the user experience. However to do this there are a few psychological rules and facts that should be applied to the design of the micro interaction.
Most of the time micro interactions are animations. Google has researched how to make web animations feel natural for a user.
As a rule a web animation should never be longer than 500 ms as it feels too slow the average user. However it also shouldn’t be too fast, because the human eye can’t perceive animations faster than 150 ms. So as a base rule animations should be kept between 200-400ms to be safe.
Micro interactions are fun to play around with and have a lot of potential to bring delight to your users!
april 27, 2020