The challenge: create a method for mapping  Microinteractions. The Microinteractionsbook is not only teeming with typological definitions (Trigger, Rules, Feedback, Loops & Modes) but with dos and don'ts.

The directive, aimed at a classroom full of Service Design and Design Management Graduate students  was to consider how a customer journey map shows how a persona goes through multiple scenarios to achieve a goal. Ergo: to do for interaction design what blueprinting does for Service.

We started from reading, of course, and then doing a summary of all typology and recommendations found in the  book.

Summary for Microinteractions that divides the typology of the model and the recommendations

Summary for Microinteractions that divides the typology of the model and the recommendations

Next, our team met to do a white boarding session. It started with us trying to map multiple interactions together. Above, the resulting map. Then, we mind-mapped the whole summary on the white board. From this session, we decided the subject was so complex  we should do a tool to analyze and design microinteractions and test it during a workshop.

We tried to map the microinteractions of taking a picture on an iPhone and it was clear to us that there are many, many, many...

We tried to map the microinteractions of taking a picture on an iPhone and it was clear to us that there are many, many, many...

Using our summary, we mind-mapped the contents of Microinteractions

Using our summary, we mind-mapped the contents of Microinteractions

From analog to digital, our mind-map became more legible. (Click to enlarge and read it)

We had the following goals for the tools we wanted to create and use for a workshop:

  1. They needed to help people learn terms and definitions.
  2. They needed to be comprehensive, to tickle people’s memories. To answer: “what have I not considered in designing/ evaluating this microinteraction?
  3. They needed to have a place for pain points discovered in the design, and other notes.

We started to prototype the tools and the workshop. In doing so we were inspired by Atul Gawande’s Checklist Manifesto, that admonishes that even the smartest people (the best doctors, the most experienced pilots) forget crucial things. So we knew our solution should include checklists contained in a guide. We though it could be cute (and fun) to have a paper engineering aspect to the guide and we chose a rotating wheel. Below, our first paper prototype for the guide.

Armed with our guide and a chart onto which distill the findings from the microinteraction, we started our workshop. Each group got a guide and two charts, and the directive to pick an existing microinteraction and chart it and also, to try to design a new one and chart it. Below, a typical page of the guide includes a typology section, for example “types of audio feedback: earcons and speech”. Then at the bottom of the page there is a checklist with best practices that pertain to the typology. For example:  “Is the earcon brief?.”After that you can see our chart. It reproduces the first half of the page and adds a space for comments.

While doing the workshop we discovered:

  1. That the checklist did indeed help people be more thorough in analyzing micro-interactions
  2. That the guided interaction with team members prompted members to ask specific questions to other team members.
  3. That different users would use the tools differently: some used postits to mark conclusions on the guide. Some ignored the story board and went for the questions.

Next steps:

  • Consider whether this could be a good digital tool
  • Combine with the other two teams (read one of the other teams’ posts here)
  • Use tools and refine them!
  • Post improvements to IACT.in
Some positive feedback from the man himself.

Some positive feedback from the man himself.