Teeny Tiny Actions
This week's lecture covers the tiny world of microinteractions.
Teeny Tiny Actions
Close all laptops please! (Back row is excluded)
This week you will be presenting your initial application ideas. It is a good opportunity to explain why the application matters and makes sense.
Research week exploring domains, context, and humans.
Ideation week generating potential design directions.
Mar 6: Proposal week presenting your UI proposal. (Worth 15%)
Mar 13: Prototyping week for generating high-fidelity, interactive prototypes of your application.
Mar 20: Testing week for finding flaws and improving your prototype.
Mar 27: Refinement and final presentation development week. (Worth 20%)
Whereas feature design is macro (big), microinteractions focus on the micro (small). One feature will be a series of microinteractions, and as a result, you have designed microinteractions before.
Sweating the Details
A microinteraction is a single task. An easy way to think of it is as a sentence: "George adjusts the brightness on his phone display using a slider."
Sweating the Details
A microinteraction is a single task. An easy way to think of it is as a sentence: "George adjusts the brightness of his phone display using a slider."
"George adjusts the brightness of his phone display..." is the task being completed.
"...using a slider." is the object enabling completion of the task.
Microinteractions are comprised of a couple of pieces:
- A trigger: A user or system initiation.
- Rules: What is being controlled.
- Feedback: A response to the initialization.
Triggers for microinteractions can either be user or system initiated. In either case, the user needs to be able to understand and learn the trigger to make effective use of the interaction.
Rules are the often invisible control or response being solicited by a trigger. It is important to keep in mind the user's mental models, as well as how you help the user understand the rule.
Machines Are Better At
Microinteractions can be useful as they can help us with tasks that we (humans) are typically bad at. For example, machines are usually better at:
You Have Data
Depending on the device your interface lives in, you have access to further information on your user and the context of use. This data may offer you an ability to define better rules. Consider:
- What is possible?
- What do I know?
- What could or should be collected?
This is the visual, aural, and/or haptic response your user receives. Your goal here is to give only what is necessary to help them understand the rules and understand the states.
To practice some of the future consideration your final project will require, you will be developing a microinteraction (as practice), within today's lecture. Please start off by selecting a single task for which you want to develop a microinteraction.
Define a Trigger
Given your user's task, brainstorm and define a logical trigger for the task. Sketch out the trigger within the context it would appear.
Given your user's task and mental models, define a rule (or set of rules) for the task that helps the user complete the given task. Make notes on what the rule(s) do, or change.
Given what the user has just triggered, define what feedback should occur that can help the user understand the action they have just performed. Sketch out the resulting feedback (as appropriate).
Build a quick and simple paper prototype to illustrate your microinteraction.
Trade two group members with another group to provide and receive feedback with. Give them the task, have them step through it, and note any points of confusion or questions that arise.
The visiting group members should answer:
- What is the trigger?
- What are the rules?
- What is the feedback?
Based on your work for P03 for this week, your sketching task is to come up with 10 different microinteractions for your interactive system. Each microinteraction should clearly define the task, trigger, rules, and feedback. A reminder that unless the trigger and feedback are non-visual, there should be a visual component to the sketch.
In This Week's Labs...
You will be presenting your application ideas. Remember that you need to be able to explain to us why your idea matters.
In Next Week's Lecture...
An in-class opportunity for feedback on the current state of your proposals, in addition to a recap on prototyping, thinking about user flows, and otherwise actioning your user interfaces.
Please bring in your proposal pitch to next week's lecture.
- Via email at email@example.com
- On the mezzanine Tuesdays from 9-10am, Fridays from 9-10am.