The emergence of smart mobile devices is revealing the emergence of micro-design as the mediator between users and brands.
In the last few years a series of technological changes have dramatically changed the behavior of users and brands:
- The emergence of smart mobile devices (including wearables) accompanying the user 24 hours a day.
- The growing presence of brands on the internet and apps.
- The combination of these two previous elements enables users to perform more actions and access to more information.
Before the emergence of smart mobile devices, the actions performed by users were focused on long and spaced periods of time, usually in the context of an office. All needs that had (and could) be resolved should wait for the user to have access to a desktop.
Now users perform these actions on the go, to solve needs that arise at a specific time, place and context. The long and intense interactions have been broken into a multitude of equally important pieces (though they often may seem trivial).
Brands and app designers must understand and adapt to this change of scale. Great design and great interactions continue to exist, but now details act as mediators between them and users.
Micro-moments: You must be there
Micro-moments are everyday short online interactions (mainly on mobile devices) triggered by immediate needs that lead users to look for specific information.
Users constantly use their devices to make decisions, look for answers and perform actions that arise in real-time moments. Analyzing those situations is key to knowing when the presence of a brand can be critical. Being there and helping users solve their small doubts and needs in those precise moments can turn a user into a customer.
Recommended reading: Micro-Moments: Think with Google
Micro-content: You must be relevant
Micro-content are short chunks of catchy content optimized for (mainly online) distribution aimed at prompting users to perform an action, often driving traffic to long-form content.
Being there is not enough. Brands must be useful. They should provide interesting and compelling information that can be consumed in seconds and can be easily shareable. The aim of micro-content is to help the user solve a question or a need and, ultimately, grab their attention and promote a brand.
Recommended reading: The Marketer’s Guide to Micro-Content, Visual.ly
Microinteractions: You must be frictionless
Microinteractions are small pieces of functionality that accomplish a single task, being usually pieces of features (yet they also can be the entire product itself).
Small actions and short-form content must offer great experiences. In a context where the interaction between users and mobile devices is reduced to fully targeted actions that need to be solved at a specific time and in a few seconds, the design of small interactions is essential to convince the user that we can help them.
Recommended reading: Microinteractions: Designing with Details, Dan Saffer
Moments + Content + Design
These three elements which are often treated separately are, in fact, inseparable and feed each other. We must design exceptional microinteractions that provide relevant micro-content in key micro-moments. Only in this way we will design great interactions that lead to memorable moments for the user.