Micro UX is one of our 17 crucial web design trends of 2015 and hopefully will only grow in importance as interactive web experiences continue to become more human and characterful.

Micro UX design is all about delighting the user by using simple innovative interactions that not only makes a task easier but also creates an engaging, humane experience that’s a pleasure to repeat. 

I looked at Micro UX for desktop in greater depth here - What is micro UX? 14 joyful examples, but now it’s time to turn attention to mobile devices, where arguably micro UX finds its most fitting place as user interactions go far beyond the mouse and keyboard.

This article could not have been written without the help of Little Big Details, a fantastic resource for all things micro UX.

Virgin America

Tiny little touches like ‘hey there’ and ‘nice name’ make for a very welcoming experience.

You can choose an avatar for yourself and place it where you want to sit. You can also see other traveller’s avatars too.

Period Box

There’s lots of lovely bits of micro UX throughout Period Box, which is a monthly subscription service delivering tampons and tailored treats to your door…

Each of the above steps contains a simple yet brilliant piece of animation.

Pinterest app

Press and hold an image for the share buttons to appear around the tip of your finger.

StarWars.com

The close button is a pair of lightsabers.

And the search button is a Death Star, no doubt firing at some helpless planet.

MyFitnessPal

Notifications automatically turn themselves off with a little sign-off if you ignore them.

Snapchat

During last year’s World Cup, if you scrolled past the end of your received snaps, you’re treated to an animation of the Snapchat ghost scoring a goal.

Yelp

If the day you’re searching on is a public holiday, Yelp will remind you to call ahead with a click-to-call button.

Automattic

If you’ve repeatedly visited a jobs page, a message appears saying you should go ahead and reply.

NatWest

When you switch between apps on an iPhone, your sensitive banking info is masked.

Slack

Forget typing fiddly passwords, Slack sends you an email link to sign you in instantly.

Uber

The taxi app changed its car icons to witches on Halloween.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 27 January, 2015 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (8)

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Chris Monkman, Web Developer at E-Dzine

First direct banking app on Android also does the masking banking details when switching between apps as well, so It's not just an iPhone/Natwest thing.

almost 3 years ago

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Kieran Fox, Head of Online at TheatrePeople.com

As do HSBC and Halifax. In fact don't all financial apps do this? Hardly neat.

almost 3 years ago

Al Williams

Al Williams, Digital Marketing at Orbital (orbital.co.uk)

It's not about whether these ideas are new or not, but that they are effective.

For Orbital microUX design works best when it combines with humanising a brand and bringing it to life online.

almost 3 years ago

Al Williams

Al Williams, Digital Marketing at Orbital (orbital.co.uk)

Automattic is a great example of great usability that can be applied in so many different ways and could really benefit e-commerce companies if used sensitively.

almost 3 years ago

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Damien Francis, me at private equity

So all we're talking about is using a designer who thinks rather than using an out of the box set of library icons. And copy written by a copy writer rather than a tech. Common sense to me.

almost 3 years ago

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Dave Harris, Job Title at SMD

If you want a truly great example of mobile micro UI/UX, check out Coast browser from Opera (iPad only, I believe). It's been out for close to two years now and half of the features you've listed in the article have been taken from there.

almost 3 years ago

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Daphne Metland, Director at Content Consultants

great round up...thanks. We are designing content and messaging on basic mobile phones for people in low resource settings (poor countries to you and me!) so I am grateful for all ideas . Anyone know of any work done on how best to design content for a basic phone? All advice gratefully received!

almost 3 years ago

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Chris Monkman, Web Developer at E-Dzine

@Daphne, it depends on just how low powered your talking. If you're meaning devices that can't even be considered feature phones then very unlikely. But if it's at least capable of running a browser with CSS3 then you might be able to get alot out by just using CSS (not everything mind, there would be instances where Javascript/jQuery would be a boon) and if you can use a standard library delivered over a CDN so that they're likely to already have it cached.

over 2 years ago

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