Fast-growing applications of microelements and microsystems, including actuators and sensors, introduce pioneering requirements on their design and testing to ensure product quality and reliability. Optical whole-field experimental techniques are of particular interest because of their speed, noncontact and noncontaminating character. Vibration testing enables providing material properties at the microlevel, design validation, and the information for the manufacturing process optimization. In particular, time average two-beam interference microscopy with automated computer processing of interferograms using the temporal phase shifting (TPS) method is reviewed. The principle of retrieving the zero-order Bessel function (sinusoidal vibrations) by calibrating the contrast variation or intensity modulation of time-average recordings is presented. The influence of main experimental errors is discussed using numerical simulations and comparisons with experimental data. Exemplary results of measurements performed with active micromembranes and AFM cantilevers are presented.© (2006) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.