Interacting with Mobile – Gestures and Micro-Interactions

Before looking at designing the app I researched gestures and micro-interactions and how we actually use our mobile devices.

How we use and interact with our mobile phones is important when thinking about a design for a smartphone app:



Designers need to also be aware of the area when using one thumb as with the 49% of user above there is a limited amount of areas on the device screen the thumb can access – natural area, stretch to reach area and ow difficult to reach and painful area to reach:















When we interact with our mobile devices the actual gestures we make are powerful actions for example, swipe, pinch in and out, drag and double touch, actions we do using our mobile devices daily as if natural.  The success of mobile design also incorporates how well gestures are implemented, gestures in design need to be useful and familiar.  It is not always easy to incorporate gestures into design, the down side happens when gestures have a lower discoverability – they are always hidden and people need to be able to identify these options (App Gestures).  More familiar app gestures will simplify the way users access and use the app.

In-App Gestures (Image Source)


A micro-mini interaction incorporates gestures and is a single task-based engagement with a device and it is predicted by 2017 we’ll be passively engaging in thousands of micro-mini interactions every time we take out our phones (UX Magazine):

Examples of micro and mini interactions:

  • Turning things off or on
  • Changing a setting or process
  • Viewing a notification or message
  • Sliding down the “screen” on a mobile device to refresh content
  • Communicate feedback or the result of an action.
  • Accomplish an individual task.
  • Enhance the sense of connection.
  • Help users visualize the results of their actions and prevent errors.
  • The vibration notification together with silent mode icon on display when you switch an iPhone to mute (see image below)

Micro-interactions may work because they appeal to a users natural desire for feedback or acknowledgement.  The user instantly knows their action was accepted and looks for a visual rewards.  Micro-interactions can also guide users in how to use the app.

Design and Prototyping

Prototyping is a good way to test the gestures and micro-mini interactions and how well they work in a design.  I plan to create a working prototype of the application and with this it will allow me to demonstrate the functionality of app while presenting the project concept and design.