UIETips: Feedback Illuminates the Rules

Jared Spool

August 28th, 2013

Feedback is an integral part of microinteractions. A good microinteraction immediately shares a result with a user. It lets them know the next steps to take or if they’re going in the right direction. Microinteractions aren’t something that easily or randomly occur. Dan Saffer has spent so much time thinking about it that he wrote a whole book on them. In today’s tips, we feature an excerpt from this book.

Dan’s in-depth knowledge on microinteractions is why we asked him to give a full-day workshop at the UI18 conference in Boston, October 21-23. At his workshop, Designing Microinteractions you’ll learn to design often-overlooked UX elements – microcopy, form controls, and system defaults to increase overall user engagement.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Unlike slot machines, which are designed to deliberately obscure the rules, with microinteractions the true purpose of feedback is to help users understand how the rules of the microinteraction work. If a user pushes a button, something should happen that indicates two things: that the button has been pushed, and what has happened as a result of that button being pushed. Slot machines will certainly tell you the first half (that the lever was pulled), just not the second half (what is happening behind the scenes) because if they did, people probably wouldn’t play–or at least not as much.

Read the article: Feedback Illuminates the Rules

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