Animations make the app more engaging, enhancing the overall look and feel of the app. It provides a clear purpose while reducing the cognitive load and preventing bling changes in apps. Consequently, bringing the app to life.
In a mobile application, designing animations is as important as recognizing the nature and purpose of using them. The primary focus while designing and developing Animations is to increase the user’s interactivity with the app.
Ideally, Animations should:
- Ensures that if certain operations take time, to not let the user remain idle.
- Make the app look more interesting.
- Guide and teach the user about the app.
- Provide clear feedback to user’s actions.
Animations were introduced to make the app more intuitive and engaging. It primarily serves as an indication to the user with what is happening, to make the app enjoyable and raise the users level of understanding. Animations are used for three main reasons:
Create a visual connection between two transitions through color and elements.
Ensure that the transitioning between two visuals should be clear, smooth and effortless.
Make objects behave in a coordinated manner.
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There are various types of Animations that can be created in an app but the most common are:
Visual feedback is a crucial part of user interface as it has lot to do with how the user responds to objects in the physical world. People expect a similar kind of response from the app elements.
Correspondingly, in an app, when a button grows in size or a swiped image moves from the screen. It is clear that objects are responding to user’s interaction giving them a real world experience. A well known example of visual feedback is the Tinder app swipe left/right feature.
This type of animation shows how an element behaves when an user interacts with it. A functional change is represented upon clicking a button or an icon which changes its form, nature and purpose shifting from one function to another. For example: you want to switch to front camera and on switching the function of the same button changes to back camera as soon as the switch takes place.
The button at the top right corner is the camera switch button which has two functions. It switches between front and back camera. The back camera button looks like a camera lens whereas the front camera button depicts a smiling face in the center.
There are various other types of transitions that one can use but it must not distract the user from the app itself. Therefore, developers have to be careful with animations as these can impact the load time of the app. While animations raise the level of your app, it may sometimes be too lengthy which reduces retention as users might lose interest.
The basic aim of incorporating Animations in the app is to convey a story to the user which should be apt and to the point but sometimes developers go overboard with the storytelling which affects the processing power required to complete the task. A well thought animation supports and fulfills multiple functions. A well designed animation helps the user understand where should they focus.
- Make sure it does not overshadow or hide any feature of the app.
- It should not be time consuming.
Motion make things interesting for the users with an exception that they are moving at the speed of light. We perceive this continuous motion of objects as intuitive and natural. Nothing teleports from A to B and our brains track movements with our eyes. Thus, if a user clicks a button and sees new content appear from the side with an animation, it feels natural. However, content appearing out of nowhere can sometimes be unpleasing to the eyes.
- Animations give life to user interface.
- They provide clear feedback in response to the user’s actions.
- Gives the system status to the user.
- Guide the user on how to use the application.
- Supports information hierarchy to convey which content is most important.
Animations have the power to make the user interact with the app by brings empathy and evokes emotions in the users. However, this does not mean that we use animations just for the sake of using them. Use visuals when they solve the purpose. Rather than doing it to make the app look appealing to the users. You may also want to focus on user retention. Besides, animations are not just about implementing thoughtful motion designs, it can increase user engagement and communicate the purpose of the app.