These details are called microinteractions and Dan Saffer defines them as “tiny piece of functionality
that only does one thing”.
An example given in the book is the case of silencing a phone: only offers one functionality, but you can do it in multiple ways.
Throughout the book you will learn the most important aspects comprising a microinteraction, which are divided between triggers, rules, feedback loops and modes.
To easily understand the concepts, Dan uses functionalities that you’ve ever used in your life or real news in which microinteractions has had a starring role.
Following the example of the functionality (or microinteraction) responsible for silencing a phone, this can have a physical button as trigger, some rules like the phone vibrates or not when muted, feedback as an icon in the status bar to indicate if enabled, a loop to cause the phone to remain silent until you tell it otherwise, and a mode to configure the microinteraction so that vibrates or not when receiving a message.
Once you know all these items individually, you’ll see how they work together to provide a compelling user experience for the end user.
It’s an entertaining and easy to read book. The concepts you will learn are useful for many different professional profiles. I’m sure that at the end of the book you will want to reuse some of your favorite applications or gadgets to discover which microinteractions have and you’ve been using usually without being aware of it.