I recently came across this article on Twitter, in which experience designer Stephen Anderson describes “micro-moments” and how they relate to interaction design.
According to Anderson, micro-moments are “the smallest units of interaction in an online experience; like when Kayak.com automatically activates the return-date calendar after you’ve entered your departure date.” Anderson also argues that interactions should be treated as having natural “conversations” with users.
I can immediately think of a few other examples of micro-moments/”conversations”. How about when your e-mail service asks you, before sending an e-mail, if you want to add an attachment to your e-mail because it recognizes the word “attachment” in your message? Google search engine’s automatic query suggestions also comes to mind. Or when you type a friend’s name into a Facebook post, you’re automatically prompted to “tag” the friend in your post. Micro-moments can extend beyond online experiences, too. For example, your vehicle probably emits a beeping/warning noise when you open the door and you’ve left your keys in the ignition or the lights on. In each of these examples, the service or machine is “talking” to you.
Take a look at this video, created by Anderson, that explains micro-moments and how to make interactions mimic natural conversations with users a bit further:
I think micro-moments are much more prevalent that most users realize, and it seems as though this concept doesn’t receive a lot of attention in the UXD field. I’m glad to see an expert promoting this practice and shedding light on its importance to interaction design and UXD.
Can you think of other micro-moments you’ve encountered? If so, please share them here!