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7 Unheard Principles of Using Animation in UX

7 Unheard Principles of Using Animation in UX
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We all have seen cartoons during our childhood days. Some of us even enjoy cartoons till now like Tom and Jerry, Right! 

But have you ever wondered how these cartoons look so real?

This real effect given by the cartoon is called Animation, an approach where photos appear to be in motion.

The definition of animation goes by the process of display of a sequence of static images or pictures in a rapid movement to create an illusion of motion. It is a simulation of action created by a series of images.

Now a days, static images are not enough for better user experience. The focus on animation has become an important part of designing to entice and attract customers. For this, it is important to know the principles of using animation in UX.

What would you prefer, a book to read history or a video to view history? Surely, anybody would pick a video over a book? And here comes the User Experience into play. Also, according to some statistics it has been found that animated explanations and guidance videos have led to an increase in leads and conversions in online stores.

With the rapid increase and change in technology, designers are utilizing UX animation principles to improve user experience and influence the behavior of the customers. 

Want to know what these principles are? 

We bring you the seven basic principles that is used by the top designers to help you with the UX design and experience.

Principles of UX Animation

1 Timing

Timing is the number of frames (time) required for an object to move. In a video, 1 second is equal to 24 frames. Thus, if a ball takes 2 seconds to rotate, then the animated timing of the ball would be 48 frame numbers (2 secs x 24 frames).

Thus, timing should be perfect. The animation should neither be too quick nor slow. Make the duration of animation quick but not too quick.

If the duration of the animation is too quick then the user misses the flow and is not able to absorb the information. If the animation is too slow then the user might get bored and maybe get frustrated.

2 Anticipation

Anticipation is the act of `large action through small actions. It helps the audience to know what is going to happen next.

Here staging- one of the principles of animation is used as build-up anticipation.

For example, if someone jumps, then the position from where he starts jumping till the position, he is stable, this action is known and is anticipated by the audience. This anticipation serves as a warning, to entice or create excitement amongst the users.

3 Easing Motion

Even the animation is just a picture-based experience, still, it is important to imply some real-world actions to make the animation more appealing and logical. Easing makes the movement more natural.

The easing motion helps you to apply the speed, be it acceleration or deceleration on your animation. For e.g. whether the character is walking or running. Borrowing some real-world motions like running, speed, wind, etc, and utilising principles of animation in UX design helps to make the animation familiar and interesting to watch.

4 Screen Transition

Screen transition is going from one screen to another. Animation is frequently used during screen transitions.

You must have noticed something on one screen and on another screen that thing suddenly disappears. For example, if you have a newspaper on one screen and suddenly the newspaper disappears on another screen. This mostly takes place while transitioning from one screen to another.

The below image will give you a better example of screen transition and how small details can help you avoid continuity error.

Using the UX animation principles, the user experience like the duration and effects can be controlled and coordinated with the rate of transitions and number of frames. 

5 Secondary Action

As the name suggests, secondary action happens apart from the primary or main action. For example, while eating food, the quantity of food can be shown getting decreased with each bite.

Secondary action generally supports the main action that is taking place. In case of an example, the decrease in the amount of food compliments the main action, that is eating the food.

These actions give additional information to the user and give a connection with reality. Icons can be used in buttons for a more effective approach. 

6 Exaggeration

This is mostly used in animation, to make the visuals more interesting and creative. Exaggeration makes the size or shape of an object big, to add emphasis on that particular object. It provides an eye-catching effect.

Utilizing UX animation principles, you can add animation to the buttons or screens. For example, the user brings the cursor or the finger to the screen, the object may get enlarged to highlight the action or the scene.

7 Overlapping

Overlapping is the animation of multiple parts of the same body. Overlapping action gives different parts of the body to move at a different rate.

The example of overlapping can be found in parallax animation, where the animation is overlapped with the content. 

Further notes…

Keeping all the principles of UX design and animation in mind, the user experience should reflect the objects that are present in the real world. Users understand and feel the animation which is built keeping the audience in mind.

If created correctly, animation can change a sequence of scenes into a memorable experience.

In this article, you have gained information about the principles of UX Animation, which captivates your audience and provides them with a relatable story. Crafting a realistic and emotional story needs experience and knowledge about the audience. 

All these principles mentioned above have helped Disney, Warner Bros, Pixar, and other animation studios create awe-inspiring and breathtaking animations since its inception.

If you think that there are other principles which are missing or which should have been here for their features, let us know.

Also Read:

How to Design Voice User Interfaces?

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