How people read and interpret small visual forms, why tiny details can be hugely useful …, by @lenagroeger

<…> everything from sequences of small graphics that help us make comparisons, to tiny locator maps that help orient us within a larger graphic, to navigation icons that give hints about how we should make our way around a page <…>

Tiny sequences of graphics, also known as small multiples, are great ways to help our brains compare.

Small things can also help us show us a step-by-step process.

Wee things can also be used to orient someone, to give them a bird’s eye view.

Another benefit of wee things is that they pack a punch. A tiny graphic can say a hell of a lot without taking up too much room.

One more benefit of wee thing is that they can help us differentiate individual elements.

Small, strategically placed hints can help direct someone’s attention to what they are supposed to do (affordances), to what will happen once they do it (feedforward), and whether or not they actually did it successfully (feedback).

Wee things can also help us present data up front instead of forcing a user to go seek it out.

Microinteractions can also help us prevent errors.

Microinteractions can add little moments of surprise to an otherwise mundane task.

If this tour of wee things has taught us anything, it that it’s worth trying to make those connections, worth spending a little more time and effort on the details – even if they are very small.