UI animations are a significant part of any digital product, website, or mobile app. How rare it is to come across a website or an app that has no animated element. This article will discuss intensely why you need animations, what to consider while designing them, & how to create animations for mobile apps from a designer viewpoint.
Why do you need animation in mobile apps?
One of the primary reasons for motion design is to offer a better user experience. Animation in apps helps users recognize connections between interface elements and views, provide user feedback to inform them what’s happening, display the hierarchy of pages and screens, and attract attention to essential features & functions.
Processing bars, click effects, bouncing lists, and hover effects enhance the user experience and user-friendliness. Premeditated motion design makes a user interface predictable, simple to regulate, and convenient. Furthermore, it delights users and creates a memorable app experience. That way interface components interact with one another, and the user determines their overall experience with your product.
What are the most common types of UX animation?
UX animations are also sometimes referred to as animation movements and can be divided into three types.
Micro-interactions, similar to the “like” tab on Instagram & Twitter.
Transitions that alter the screen content or shift users to another screen.
Graphic animations, such as the scooter jump in the Zomato Order app.
Animation Making Process
Developing animations & motion design comes at the last stage of the design process. Before this, there are five primary stages of app design– market research, wireframing, mockup, testing & trials, and visual design. These stages are repetitive; hence they can be executed in a different order based on the needs.
The first step in developing a mobile app UI animation is mockup, but some ideas may come earlier while sketching or wireframing.
During the mockup stage, the first thing is generating and testing initial design ideas and developing sketches for interactions that will be detailed and ideal. Often, the general visual style is not yet defined during the mockup stage. The primary output of this stage is the overall page layout, which might also change in the future iterations if required. Therefore during the mockup stage, we develop low-fidelity mockups of interactions with the least details.
Once the overall visual style has been approved, and all UI screens are up-to-date, it’s time for motion design.
Considerations while creating animations for mobile apps
Comply with Designing Guidelines
Before designing animations, you must consider the existing mobile UI design trends, even the design guidelines for the platform you are creating. For instance, with the detailed Material Design suggestions, you can develop an excellent motion design interface without any particular research. Furthermore, this interface will be known to your users.
Nonetheless, there are frequent cases when solutions offered by guidelines are inadequate, and there is a need to develop something new. In that case, you must search for new ideas.
Follow Brand Identity & The Demands of your Target Audience
The general style and mood of animations and their connection to the brand are also significant for creating excellent interactions. Many times, animations have to meet the product’s main idea and the demands of the target audience. For instance, if you are developing an app for kids, then striking colors, animated characters, and bounce effects are superb ways to offer an interactive experience and set the right mood.
Remember the Ethical & Social Norms
There are some cases where you have checked everything twice and considered each part of your animation design; however, there’s still a tiny detail that grows into a huge problem. For instance,
You are creating a fitness app that fits fines with each user and offers suggestions based on user information. To make this effective, the app asks the user some easy questions during onboarding. One of the problems lies in the user’s gender. You must consider if your app has default male setting as gender instead of female, that can raise questions of sexism.
While creating animations and interfaces, consider cultural norms too apart from technicalities and usability.
Choosing a Tool For Designing Animations
There are a handful of tools for motion design and mockups, including— Flinto, Framer, Principle, Origami Studio, After Effects, and Form.
Principle & Flinto
These are the simplest motion design tools to use. Simultaneously, they have many restrictions like the inability to apply 3D animations & export specifications for developers. Moreover, animations in Principle & Flinto always occur between artboards, which means a severe mockup can rapidly become messy. Therefore, you’ll require to use a few extra tools. Nonetheless, with Principle & Flinto, you can quickly develop prototypes and custom animations.
After Effects isn’t mainly for mockups; however, it has a wide variety of tools and resources for developing various sorts of animations. With its in-built plugins, After Effects can also export animations to code. This tool is more difficult to master than Principle and Flinto.
Framer, Origami Studio, & Form
These are robust mockup tools based on visual programming and coding; however, each one has a sharp learning curve.
In development terms, you must bear in mind the right tools for your requirements– Delivery. Today, there’s no generally approved standard for delivering mockups and animations to developers. A few designers make descriptions for every micro-interaction manually. At the same time, others send a GIF file or video and then assist the developer by describing the flow.
Suppose you require to rapidly create a working, clickable mockups with custom animations and transitions, select Principle and Flinto. If you also need to deliver the outcomes to a developer who works from home, use Framer, After Effects, or Origami Studio. After Effects offers a useful plugin that exports an animation to code, such as Bodymovin, Lottie, and Inspector Spacetime.
This article must have given you an overall idea of UI animations surrounding mobile applications. It is essential to follow it in the right way to achieve the outcomes as expected. After all, it is vital to provide an excellent user interface and user experience to acquire and retain your users.