Microinteractions: Designing with Details by Dan Saffer

The Power of Thinking Small: Dan Saffer’s persuasive new book, Microinteractions: Designing with Details, makes the case that focusing on small moments leads to better products.

Smart Design is proud to announce the publication of Dan Saffer’s new book, Microinteractions: Designing with Details, available at bookstores, Amazon and via digital download. Saffer is Director of Interaction Design in Smart’s San Francisco studio and the author of well-known design books, Designing for Interaction, Designing Gestural Interfaces, and Designing Devices. Published by O’Reilly Media, Microinteractions features a foreword by design luminary Don Norman and is an engaging read that appeals to a wide audience—designers and design enthusiasts alike.

“The details are not the details. They make the design.” —Charles Eames

The difference between a good product and a great one are its details: the microinteractions that make up the small moments inside and around features. How do you turn mute on? How do you know you have a new email message? How can you change a setting? All these little moments—-which are typically not on any feature list and often ignored—can change a product from one that is tolerated to one that’s beloved. This book provides a new way of thinking about designing digital products: as a series of microinteractions that are essential to bringing personality and delight to applications and devices.

Facebook’s Like. Twitter’s Fail Whale. Ford’s SmartGauge ‘Efficiency Leaves’, Google’s logo doodles. AOL’s “You’ve Got Mail!” was so popular they made a movie based on it. These (and dozens more like them) are all examples of microinteractions that have become signature moments: small product and UX details that have become so iconic, they’ve become a highly valued, essential part of the brand.

“Great microinteractions—those that rise to the level of signature moments—can either occur organically, or they can be deliberately designed. They create customer loyalty and brand recognition. They can make people love your product-or, done poorly, make customers hate it. Which is why companies are starting to pay attention to designing experiences with both the big picture and these details in mind,” says Saffer.

Microinteractions illustrates Saffer’s six new principles, which guide designers and design advocates to understand how to make great microinteractions and Signature Moments possible. Read an excerpt of Chapter 4 on one of Dan’s principles, “Feedback”.

In early praise for the book on the publisher’s website, Scott Jenson, Head of Design at Parlay Labs, comments that the book “…creates a valuable new design tool: filling in that vast middle ground between “Design Thinking” at the strategy level and “User Guidelines” at the very detailed level. It is an excellent book that should be read not only by designers but everyone involved in bringing a product to market.”

Saffer will be embarking on a summer book tour and speaking series that will include stops in Lisbon, Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin, Boston, New York and Melbourne. Events in Europe will be announced soon. For the latest information, visit the Microinteractions tour page.