I recently began reading “Microinteractions: Designing with Details” by Dan Saffer. The book, in short, explains how designing a product is all in the details. I noticed more and more the microinteractions I would come across on a daily basis and began to take note which experiences I enjoyed and which ones left me feeling like “I Just Can’t Take it Anymore!”
“The difference between a product you love and a product you tolerate is often the microinteractions you have with it.”
One of my least favorite microinteractions comes from Outlook. If an organizer of a weekly event updates an event you get a notification. This makes total sense, however, if I want to respond to this updated “meeting” I have to respond to the original invitation. Now, if this event has been going on for weeks and weeks I have no idea when the first invitation came. It’s buried somewhere in the recesses of Outlook-land never to be seen again. Also, what a waste of time trying to find it. Next to this notification should be a button that says something along the lines of, “See Original Invite,” or, “Hey! I don’t want to waste your valuable time so I’ll help you find it.” As a user I feel lost after getting this notification. It’s a dead end with no way out.
One microinteraction that made me feel like I was a valued customer came from Travelzoo. I was wanting to book a vacation but I had unfortunately forgotten my password. So I typed in my email so they could send a reset link to me. The next screen I was greeted with was an awesome experience. First they let me know that they sent the email. And second (which is my favorite part), is a button that says, “Go to Your Email.” You mean to tell me I don’t have to open another tab and type in the url to my email account all by myself? Yes. I clicked the button and to my surprise it magically knew where to guide in the grid. Satisfaction.
Kudos to you, Travelzoo.
All this to say is the details do matter. The thought process that goes into the smallest of microinteractions in a product or experience can make or break the customer’s journey.