Designing the Critical Details Using Microinteractions

Dan Saffer · Wednesday, March 7 · 8:30am – 5:30pm · Salon C

Design those often-overlooked UX elements—like microcopy, controls settings and defaults—to increase your user engagement. See how delightful these details can be.

Plus, microinteractions help users remember your brand. So get the methodology, language, and techniques you’ll need to make yours memorable for all the right reasons.

Dan wrote the book on microinteractions. Dan is the Product Design Leader at Twitter.

The Day’s Agenda


Triggers to start a microinteraction

  • How to identify microinteractions, and why they’re critical to the feeling of a product
  • The system and manual events that users do on their own
  • When to use different types of triggers and how data influences that choice

Set realistic rules

  • The Do’s and Don’ts of crafting rules to govern microinteractions
  • Constraints that prevent or eliminate human error
  • Ways to reduce choice to make a more efficient experience


Design using feedback

  • How to use visual and sound feedback to convey the right message
  • Ways to convey feedback by using things already on the screen
  • Tips to craft strong microcopy that users will understand and appreciate

Experiment with loops and modes

  • What happens when a user returns to your microinteraction
  • The difference between modes that are spring-loaded or one-off
  • How your microinteraction changes over time

You’ll dig into designing delightful details

Discover why your users are bored

If you’re designing dull microinteractions, why wouldn’t your users feel bored? See real-world examples of brand-building experiences, then decide how you want to design for your users.

Follow a repeatable methodology

It’s hard to ask for time to polish the details, but your product is only as good as its worst microinteraction. Learn to make them more engaging without derailing deadlines.

Design cross-platform interactions

A truly delightful microinteraction follows a user from device to device. Create a holistic ecosystem that represents your organization in unique, compelling ways.

You’ll see how to:

  • Surprise users (in a good way!) with different kinds of feedback
  • Choose the “right” microinteraction based on context and device
  • Write microcopy that humans can read and understand
  • Identify elements to spend time on — and which to ignore
  • Integrate microinteraction design in your existing process
  • Not start from “zero” when designing your product

Use Microinteractions to Improve Your Design

Signature moments make your organization look awesome

Get a new model to address small details in your products and easily diagnose usability issues.

A repeatable model to evaluate your existing products

Identify and improve the often-overlooked areas where you can build in user delight.

Microinteractions that feel responsive to users, no matter which device they’re using

Know when and where to use different triggers, and how to prevent errors from occurring.

A fresh perspective on your existing design

Enhance microinteractions that are already there, and bring your data forward.

Heavy on practicing new techniques, light on lecture

You’ll dig into tons of exercises that span desktop and enterprise-level experiences. Prepare to experiment with a variety of controls, triggers, and feedback types. You’ll then work individually and in groups to put it all together by designing a device-specific microinteraction that uses all of the elements discussed in the workshop.

Dan Saffer

Photo of Dan Saffer

Here’s what Jared says about why he chose Dan for this conference…

After 15 years of designing details into his work, Dan Saffer has defined a system around his process to help others incorporate that methodology into their own work. The end-result? Small moments of delight in everything from a contact form to a mobile application for global brands. So if you’ve ever wanted to improve how users respond to your app without necessarily changing everything about it, then you should attend this talk.

On Tuesday, Dan will give a featured talk, The Robots Are Coming!.

↑ To the top of Dan’s workshop description