If you want to grab the attention of the audience with your app, creating a good design is not enough. You need it to be great. The same thing is with animation for the mobile application. A catchy animation will make your product attractive for users featuring a good impression. Moreover, it should look natural keeping the idea of the app itself and not distracting from it. The animation is used to make the idea of the application clear to an end user. Here are some good ideas on how to create an efficient and attractive animation for your mobile application.
Basic animation types
Before implementing a particular type of animation, you need to know its functions and features it can add to the app. Here are some major animation types you may find rather handy.
“Visual feedback” animation type
Every app must let the user feel in control of it. It may be achieved with the help of a visual feedback. The idea is to create a high level of object responsiveness of any application element. Creating a good visual feedback will make it possible to indicate the operation process of the app ensuring a user that everything runs smoothly. Imagine that you touch a button and everything around starts moving or changing sizes. It becomes clear that the tool is in process and you can take the control over it. You can take the example of some leading applications like Tinder when implementing visual feedback animation.
“Function change” animation type
Function change is based on particular element changes whenever users interact with it. This animation type is crucial in case you need to display various functions. Developers can use a wide range of tools to illustrate the element change including icons, interface tools, buttons and some elements of the app design. For example, you need to change the view of the menu by pressing the “hamburger button”. It may change to “X” showing that the function is actually in process. In some cases, developers prefer using function change type of animation when the icon changes together with the content.
“Orientation in space” animation type
All apps have different structures. Even if you compare two reservation services of the same type, they may differ from each other when it comes to a structure that can be rather complicated. The main idea here is to make it as clear to the user as possible. Developers should work out an easy-to-use interface and simple navigation system. Orientation in space as the basic type of animation will be a good solution to this problem. You can create an easy structure linking one element of the menu with another letting it easy for users to interact with all features and functions. Users may hide or reveal some particular elements by pressing the button as well as displaying any possible additional functions.
The purpose of each element and hierarchy
The main purpose of any animation type you implement is to display how a particular object or element interacts with other app design elements. Every icon enables particular functions. It can be used to hide or display the menu, activate some features and more.
At the same time, animations types are necessary to make the interface simple and clear for the user. They provide a link between some of the elements and establish a clear hierarchy. It is a crucial part when implementing any animation type. A user should have a clear picture where to start from to launch a necessary menu or function. The elements may change is size when pressing on them to make it clear for users that they are in process.
Implementing visual prompts
Particular types of animation make it easy for users to interact with particular elements of the application. This factor is rather important when you build an app featuring a complex structure and unpredictable interaction pattern.
We should also consider various process and actions that constantly take place behind the scene when using an app. Those processes traditionally include data downloads, information analysis, calculations, etc. The user must always be aware of the system conditions to ensure that everything is running smoothly and correctly. Some animation types display the system status introducing the ongoing process or happening. Such approach lets users benefit from the total control over the application operation and performance. The best bet is to create a separate animation for every particular process.
Types of animation for fun
Building an entertaining application is a must whenever you want to make your product recognizable and successful with users. Developers often opt for fun animations to provide the best users’ experience. On the other hand, you are supposed to use this animation type wisely, as the implementation can turn into a challenge for the entire developing process. However, if you manage to create a unique and funny animation, it will certainly be a great solution to make the app stand out.
Designing a fun animation is a complicated task. You need to consider a couple of key factors. They include:
- Make sure your animation does not distract with other features and app functions;
- Make sure your animation is not time-consuming.
Animation design principles
Here you will find eleven most crucial points to take into account when creating a perfect animation for your app. All these points will let you implement the most suitable and successful animation type. Some of them were borrowed from Walt Disney experience. However, professional UI designers will hardly face any difficulties when implementing them in the development process.
- Material. You are supposed to reveal all components of the element no matter if it is light or heavy. A user must have a clear understanding what elements it is linked to and how it will interact with other functions.
- Movement Trajectory. The key to success is to have a clear picture of the movements’ nature. At this stage, you will need to decide which trajectory to opt for. Whether it will be a straight movement or a more complicated and flexible one. As soon as you make up your mind with the trajectory, you should follow it strictly.
- Timing. The more natural your objects move, the better animation experience you will deliver to the end user.
- Animation Focus. Your animation should not be abstract. It must be concentrated in a given space or part of the screen. Keep in mind that there are some other elements and functions displayed on the screen. Make it easy for the user to find a necessary one and locate all the elements separately.
- Follow-through. Keep in mind that objects will never start moving or stop rapidly. Imagine that you throw a ball. As soon as it starts moving on his own, your hand is also moving. Use this approach when implementing your type of animation.
- Overlapping. This term is used to describe a situation when the first action is completed and the second action is launched. The idea is to create an animation without any dead span or period between two actions. It will let you keep the user interested as a viewer. Rapid stops can have a negative effect on users’ experience.
- Secondary Actions. This point is actually similar to the “follow-through” point. Both principles have something in common. Try to keep your key animation accompanied by some secondary actions to keep your user interested as the viewer. At the same time, you will get a chance to create a more vivid and catchy design for your app.
- Ease In/Ease Out. This point comes as the key principle of any design no matter if you deal with UI or animation. Many developers understand its importance. Nevertheless, this point is usually overlooked. It is necessary to create a more natural animation featuring realistic movement of elements and objects.
- Anticipation. This point traditionally refers to visual prompts. It may come as an intuitive hint for user letting him foresee what is going to happen next. In other words, you use the animation to create a sense of anticipation. It can be achieved using the above-mentioned principle. Visual prompts can also be used to let users predict how the object will move during its interaction.
- Rhythm. This principle defines the motion structure of the object. Every melody has a particular rhythm. The same thing with animation. It will let you create a more natural and realistic movement.
- Exaggeration. Animators often use this principle in order to attract additional attention to the element, object or feature.
We have discussed some of the major types of animation as well as some basic animation principles. You can use them to create a great application featuring a unique animation. However, there are still some more things you need to keep in mind:
- Determine the target audience and create the animation that will let your users solve their problems;
- Create a high-quality rational feedback. A user must have a clear understanding why he or she is using a particular element and what for;
- Try to make your animation and natural and realistic as possible;
- Cooperate with programmers and developer at every stage of the development process.
Feel free to share your experience and thoughts on the topic!