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Introduction to Micro Animation: Tiny But Mighty

A good brand always pays attention to at least two things on their offering: features and details. The features or benefits may justify the users to make a purchase, but details are the ones that keep them there.

One of the details that have tremendous potential of winning users, yet it’s often overlooked, is the use of micro animation.

Micro Animation: Simply Explained

Despite the lesser-known name, you're engaging with micro animation more often than you think without even realizing it.

It's small and subtle, but functional animations that assist users by providing visual feedback and put emphasis on engagement in user interface.

There Twitter’s heart icon. That's what a micro animation looks like in action.

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Why Does It Matter?

If micro animations are only tiny design elements, why do we have to care about them at all?

Just imagine when you clicked a "like" button, and there was nothing happening: no little motion that filled in, no color, not a thing. You'll be wondering if it works or not. And if it was me, I'd start getting anxious "Did it work?" "Do I have to click it again?"

That's where micro animations come in handy, in the form of a visual cue. It's the tiny details that makes an app works great. Micro-animations make it possible to explain many things without words. It gave direct visual feedback to users.

To get more specific, here are some essential functions of micro animations for website or app design:

Delight the users, giving them an impressive browsing experience

Communicating status and providing visual feedback

Enhancing the sense of direct manipulation

Helping users to see the results of their actions

Where to Land Micro Animations in Projects?

We've talked about what is a micro animation and why it's important in designing user interface. Now, we're about to go even deeper with more real-life examples to inspire your next project.

Action Buttons

Send, save, download, add, remove, open, close, submit…

Those command buttons are necessary for any website or app design, but it's in your hands to make them more captivating. Micro animations are mostly used to leverage these action buttons.

The color, shape, size, and animation should be in perfect harmony with your design. The transformations from one form to another should look as natural as possible.

As you can see from the example, when you click on the submit button, you'll see a process of submitting taking place through an animation. Here, micro animation lets the users know that their action was accepted, giving them more confidence in further usability.

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Fill In a Form

It may be such a repetitive task for users to type their username and password just to log in to their new accounts. Adding micro animations helps to make it much more exciting.

With such a design, you can make the login form much more straightforward with less footprint. You can also be alerted to recorrect fields (if there was an error) by a little animation, which is much more appealing than the dry message "Please check your password and account name and try again."

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Confirming a Process

Most users find it boring when they have to wait while the page is loading. But, with micro animations, it becomes a fun activity with a physiological reward, such as when you are shown the progress of completed data.

Looking at the example, the users get a visual "report" of the process of their action. Also, the little animation can prevent them from feeling impatient.

By representing the status of a process in real-time, users know where things are up to and how long is remaining. If there's an error, they can respond to it immediately. And if everything goes well, they'll also want to get that satisfaction as soon as the process is completed.

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Notifications

The notification that pops up every day on your smartphone is a micro animation, as it notifies you of a new message or email and encourages you to click to view it immediately.

If your users are receiving any type of notification from your website, a micro animation must be involved. It makes it easier for you to catch the user's eyeballs and shows them that there is something important they need to check out.

A bell with a little red dot is one of the most-used icons for notifications.

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Error Alert

A broken link or a removed page may cause an error on a website. In such cases, every savvy designer knows that they can't always avoid those errors. But, when the errors appear, they know how to make it less painful for users by using micro animations.

As you can see, even with just a tiny motion from an exclamation mark, you clearly show that you want to treat the users with all tenderness and kindness. The micro animation above sweetens the pill of finding yourself in the wrong place and can even make it memorable, as well as shareable.

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How the Tiny Details Work

Sometimes the smallest things have to shoulder the biggest responsibilities, that also applies to micro animations.

Even with a little motion and mostly goes unnoticed, micro animation plays a crucial role in website or app design. It makes the experience between your product and users more fun, easy, and effective.

And we can help you with that. Just send us a message!

We can help you with mini-projects, weekly, or monthly retainers.

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