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Microinteractions: Full Color Edition: Designing with Details (edition 2013)

by Dan Saffer

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752244,458 (3.88)1
It's the little things that turn a good digital product into a great one. With this practical book, you'll learn how to design effective microinteractions: the small details that exist inside and around features. How can users change a setting? How do they turn on mute, or know they have a new email message? Through vivid, real-world examples from today's devices and applications, author Dan Saffer walks you through a microinteraction's essential parts, then shows you how to use them in a mobile app, a web widget, and an appliance. You'll quickly discover how microinteractions can change a product from one that's tolerated into one that's treasured. Explore a microinteraction's structure: triggers, rules, feedback, modes, and loops Learn the types of triggers that initiate a microinteraction Create simple rules that define how your microinteraction can be used Help users understand the rules with feedback, using graphics, sounds, and vibrations Use modes to let users set preferences or modify a microinteraction Extend a microinteraction's life with loops, such as "Get data every 30 seconds"… (more)
Member:aynar
Title:Microinteractions: Full Color Edition: Designing with Details
Authors:Dan Saffer
Info:O'Reilly Media (2013), Edition: 1, Paperback, 170 pages
Collections:Work, Your library
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Microinteractions: Designing with Details by Dan Saffer

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The fine details of interface design matter significantly to the overall user experience, not only to avoid frustration but increasingly also to add value and a sense of a well-crafted product. Saffer addresses what he calls the microinteractions of graphical user interfaces with great care, unpacking them into triggers, rules, feedback and modes. For each of the main aspects, he provides a rich collection of examples and some practical design rules -- effectively building a platform towards connoisseurship of the design of microinteractions.
  jonas.lowgren | Oct 30, 2013 |
After defining the topic as “single use-case features [of a user interface] that do one thing only” with a light switch as the iconic example, arguing for the importance of getting the features of user experience right, setting the goal of “dissect[ing] microinteractions in order to help readers design their own”, and a mostly-irrelevant but well-told introductory story about a cell-phone ring-tone destroying a musical performance, the author quickly establishes an analysis framework, dividing interactions into Triggers, Rules, and Feedback, and devotes early chapters to explaining each of the components.

The book, unfortunately, doesn’t fulfill this promising (minus that story) start.

Rather than an intensive and systematic dissection of single-use-case interactions, we’re given example after example (after example) of Triggers, then of Rules, then of Feedback, almost all drawn from postings to a single Website (“Little Big Details”),accompanied by a narrative which, by rapidly changing point of view and underlying metaphor, makes the analytical context confusing and causes all of these examples (and there are a LOT of examples) to just pile together, conceptually.

There are good ideas — use smart defaults, don’t start from zero, recognize “signature moments” — but they are presented in mind-numbing breadth rather than depth, with many, many examples but little analysis of why these rules might apply exactly this way in this particular context. The barrage of examples, to me, grew tiresome. You might have figured that out already.

Mr. Saffer tells us how to judge a successful feature — “what you’re striving for is a feeling of naturalness, an inevitability, a flow…” — and it’s a shame he didn’t apply that simple measure to his book.

I appreciate and generally trust the “Who Should Read This Book?” feature in O’Reilly books, but in this case it failed me — rather than the “anyone who cares about making better products” of the Preface, the right audience is professional, full-time user experience designers wanting to, and able to, hone their skills through exposure to examples. If that sort of person could have a much higher opinion of the book, and I wouldn’t argue a bit. ( )
  steve.clason | Jul 11, 2013 |
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