A successful application or website depends a lot on different factors such as visual appeal, functionality, user experience, marketing strategy and more. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on the visual appeal and user experience aspect – particularly on animation. Animation can be a huge factor when it comes to enhancing the overall user experience, whether it is on a smartphone application or on a website.
These days, we see animation almost everywhere – from a hidden side bar menu that slides in upon a touch event on your iPhone or Android to a header navigation that sticks to the top of the browser when scrolling. Recently, with the announcement of the newest version of Android’s Operating System – Lollipop, animation will play a very important role as noted in the Material Design document: “Motion in the world of material design is not only beautiful, it builds meaning about the spatial relationships, functionality, and intention of the system.” If you want to read more about their thoughts on animation check this link out at: http://www.google.com/design/spec/animation/authentic-motion.html
You may ask what is animation and why it matters to us and users? A simple explanation would be: an action that causes something to happen and something else happens immediately after it. “Animations add contextual information where there is none by default.” – @rachelnabors, main stage, FOWD 2014, London, @FOWD. The reason why animation is so important in interaction is because it helps to smooth out the transition between states. According to Rachel Nabors, there are 6 different kinds of animation that can be applied in user interaction:
- Causality: Causality is when one thing happens before another i.e. the first thing triggers the second thing.
- Feedback: Something happens after the user does something. Feedback is causality in direct relation to user’s input.
- Relationships: Animation between things that are hierarchically and spatially in relation to one another.
- Progression: How user can progress through a linear sequence.
- Physics: Animations that imitate the physical laws of reality.
- Transitions: Transitions happen time to time and helps indicate a change of mindset or tasks or even settings.
In conclusion, animation helps enhance the user experience. However, if overused, animation can also be very annoying and distracting. Hence, when designing for the mobile app or website, one should pay great attention to animation. Just enough is more!
In Texo Design, we focus not only on optimising the coding and interface, but also the user experience to ensure the application meets highest quality for our customers. If you are looking for a mobile app development company, just feel free to contact us today!