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Microinteractions: Designing with Details

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  794 ratings  ·  56 reviews
It’s the little things that turn a good digital product into a great one. With this practical book, you’ll learn how to design effective microinteractions: the small details that exist inside and around features. How can users change a setting? How do they turn on mute, or know they have a new email message?

Through vivid, real-world examples from today’s devices and applic
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Paperback, 170 pages
Published May 10th 2013 by O'Reilly Media
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4.02  · 
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 ·  794 ratings  ·  56 reviews


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Karen Mardahl
Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is definitely going on my "recommend to all my developers" list. It is a book that they should all read. As should all in UX or technical communication.

In fact, this book is going to achieve the same fame for me as The Inmates are running the asylum. With Inmates, I run around shouting "apologist" to anyone who takes a shortcut and dumps a guilt trip on the user, claiming that the software is always right. Now, I will do something similar with this book. I will start to see microinteraction
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Mikal
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Microinteractions is a great example of how to write a book. It takes a topic, focuses on the topic and doesn't try to cover knowledge outside of its scope.

To get value out of microinteractions you must first agree with the premise: microinteractions are not features, they are "a contained product moment that revolves around a single use case — a tiny piece of functionality that only does one thing". Vague? Yes. But it's clear on a spectrum from scenario to interaction; at somepoint a scenario b
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Graham Herrli
May 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: design-related
This book is full of common sense advice. Be brief. Be consistent. Keep things simple. Yawn frequently. (That last one was my reaction, not actual advice from the book.)

A refrain repeated throughout the book is "don't start from zero." Microinteractions are about using the bits of information you already have about users to provide a more personalized interaction, such as using a device's location and a weather API to customize entertainment search results based on local weather.

Saffer also repe
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Davy
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design
It's very reassuring to know that most recently in the past few years, I've been paying more attention to the lesser glamorous portions of my job, designing and improving interactions and designs little by little. UX becomes aware to me all the time, whether it's how my alarm clock works or how we can improve this review form I'm currently typing in right now.

I enjoyed the large range of screenshots and footnotes for further reading. One of my favorite things is the portion about Loops and Modes
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Ran
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design
Very interesting framework dissecting a micro-interaction in design. It's a really high-level book with lots of real-life examples to explain the guidelines and concepts. REALLY enjoyed the examples. Two biggest takeaways for me are: bring data forward and don't start from zero. Recommend for all fellow interaction designers if you like to put some system thinking around your designs.
Stringy
Sep 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Stringy by: UX Bookclub
Microinteractions is one of my favourite type of design books: one that avoids the extremes of dogma and fuzzy platitudes to find a practical middle ground.

There's no hard and fast rules for designing the little mini-interactions that we deal with each day, like volume controls or star ratings. But there are best practices, and doing it wrong can lead to worse consequences than just annoying a few customers.

Saffer provides a process you can use to make sure you've thought of everything, backed
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Justin
Jun 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: design
It's a fantastic book filled with rich examples of craftsmanship in product and interaction design. He establishes a lexicon and process around which one can define such details in product design. Still, it hits a level of marketing gimmick in its existence, a need to coin a term that does not need to be coined. Craftsmanship is craftsmanship. Recommended reading for all designers, and probably of greater value to those starting out in the field. I can see it providing most value to people unabl ...more
Jess
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
I consider this a 102-level book about interaction design. It’s not a 101-level introduction. It’s also not as advanced as I thought it would be.

What I appreciate most from the book is the many examples the author uses to illustrate effective (and ineffective) micro interactions. I dog-eared many examples for later reference.
Sora
May 15, 2018 added it
I loved this book, easy to read and a lot how to organize ideas and improve a product. For me, the details were always the priority when developing a software. They can enhance the user experience but if your design is not well done, it can be a mess. And the most important I learned from this book and makes me feel very satisfied is to let the micro-interactions be the last part to do when you are developing. Even though I knew that fact beforehand, it was until I read the book that I realized ...more
Tanya
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think this is one of the best books written on interaction design.
Plop Cristian
Oct 14, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is about fundamentals of good user experience design, especially micro-interaction - A core thing of success product.
Thomas Cooper
Good for understanding UX design and terms used to build function into web apps.
Juanjo Fernandez
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm going to talk about a book that will make you to pay special attention to details that went unnoticed for you on applications, web sites or gadgets you use every day.

These details are called microinteractions and Dan Saffer defines them as "tiny piece of functionality
that only does one thing".

An example given in the book is the case of silencing a phone: only offers one functionality, but you can do it in multiple ways.

Throughout the book you will learn the most important aspects comprising
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Jenn
Feb 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ux
A good overview book, mostly software/web based.
Heatherlee  Nguyen
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: UX practitioners and designers
This book is now one of my favorite design books. Without over-explanation Saffer does a good job of defining microinteractions as we see them today, the good and the bad, with real-world scenarios and visuals to drive the point.

All too often we think about the grand experience of whatever we're building, and this book does a great job of reminding us to 'design with details,' that every tiny experience is greater than the sum. When you read this you will shake your head in agreement.. you'll th
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Sean
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ux-books
Useful points, well thought out, structured and presented.

A quibble: I thought the author didn't do haptic feedback justice – he focused on how limited the range of touch feedback that humans can perceive is vs. the range of visual and auditory feedback we can perceive.

But this seems to focus on a single physical *point* of feedback, which overlooks how we can discern touch across many points of our bodies – which isn't true for sound or light. So for example: A steering wheel or handlebars mig
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Shuan
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Microinteractions" - the tiny details of how a product or its user interface interacts with its user. These details differentiate between a good, useful product and a great, delightful one. The is a very cool topic to look into, and Dan has done a good job in starting the conversation.

Dan provides a framework for discussing microinteractions: 1) triggers, 2) rules, 3) feedback, and 4) loops and modes. Personally, I find this framework somewhat analogous to, but less well defined than, Don Norma
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Kars
May 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, design
My hope is that formally trained interaction designers know 80% of what's in this book. But it's the 20% that makes it worth picking up. Because as with the microinteractions Saffer discusses, the pleasures of this book are in the details. Passing words of advice, catchphrases and questions that are worth pondering and mentally filing for when next you sit down to figure out the details of an interactive product's design.

The focus here is on structure and behavior. Quite a bit of attention is d
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Arnold Saputra
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very inspiring book for learning Microinteraction and how to improve your product by using more microinteraction. Microinteraction is around us and most of it We didn't realize but, it gave pleasant feeling to user. Microinteraction is a little detail that proved increase user engadgment, satisfactions and make your product more unique. Microinteraction must designed carefully and it needs enermous quantitative testing to the targeted user. What I mean enermous is tested to 1000-200k users using ...more
Nick
May 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't come away from this one thinking very differently, which is why I rated it as just ok. However, the seemingly common sense knowledge in here sparked a renewed interest in user experience and quality work. Key takeaways were...

- Make the rules of an interaction visible and, if possible, intuitive to the user. Implied rules are better than learned rules.
- Don't start from zero. Use what contextual information you have to create sensible defaults.
- Bring any information the user needs to k
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Roger
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
A fun tech book I picked up at the library on a whim. I would buy a cheap copy to loan out, I'd buy it at full price now if it directly related more to my career. I'd certainly take a class that used this as the textbook.

though I did have issues with the book, some of the graphics were hard to read, and after reading this Amazon user review:
http://www.amazon.com/review/R3MO4J1S...

it seems they were corrected in the newer color edition: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1491...
Alison
Jul 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: work-related
An eye opening guide through the power of microinteractions that are often the reasons products appeal to their customers. Staffer uses some fantastic examples from products we are all familiar with. I did find some difficulty in fully distinguishing how to keep microinteractions simple e nought that they aren't features, but no doubt there are some worthwhile applications for solid product development.
Anthony
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, reference
Microinteractions are the little details that make a big impact. Saffer's book outlines the thought process around implementing microinteractions, and teaches the reader how to use them effectively to improve the overall user experience. I would recommend this text to designers, developers, UX teams and anyone who is interested in learning more about the little things that can make or break a great user experience.
Ken
May 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
I read the introduction and the preface, then skimmed the rest. Most of the real valuable information is in the first part of the book. After that, it seems to just give more examples of microinteractions (most of which seem to be taken from the web site "Big Little Designs"). I would recommend checking out the web site as there's apparently lots of good stuff there. ;)
Ko Matsuo
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Microinteractions are what creates polish on a product. It's the difference between a friendly product with a perceived personality, and a cold but usable product. Saffer breaks down microinteractions into Triggers, Rules, Feedback, and Loops. It's a helpful framework through which to view user experience.
Elisa
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ux-books
I really enjoyed this book. After reading it, I wanted to buy a ton of copies and ask that all of the developers around here to read it (I didn't, but I have already passed it along to a colleague). I hadn't really thought how much we work at the macro level until I read this and an article about microinteractions on the UIE web site.
Morgane
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Straight-forward and useful. Really gets you thinking about design and how important details are. The examples really made this book; it was fun to see what other people have done that works (or doesn't).

Possibly more useful for someone who doesn't know that much about design, but either way it's a quick read so you may as well check it out.
Amy
Jun 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really like the approach this book outlines, taking a close look at the details of the small interactions a user has with a product (mostly web oriented). While I already apply a lot of the methods described, they now have names and explanations. That should be helpful when discussing design with my colleagues.
Tiffany
Sep 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: professional
Very well-written and thorough, with great examples. I did think that he didn't clearly define the difference between a feature and a microinteraction. At the beginning, he said that microinteractions should be easy and fast to code, and then spent the rest if the book demonstrating why a good microinteraction will involve some very nuanced and conditional code. But, a very useful book overall.
Benoit Oj
Oct 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Straightforward book with a lot of examples from littlebigdetails.com but there's also a detailed and easy to follow methodology to design interactions.

I recommend this book to developers who have interest in IxD
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“Microinteractions are an exercise in restraint, in doing as much as possible with as little as possible. Embrace the constraints and focus your attention on doing one thing well. Mies van der Rohe’s mantra of “less is more” should be the microinteraction designer’s mantra as well.” 0 likes
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