Visual Feedback: Animations in Mobile Apps

Motion elements should be considered from the very start when planning a user journey. When designing animations, you need to analyze their influence on the usability and desirability of the app and if you cannot see a clear, positive impact, reconsider your approach. All animations should illustrate how elements are connected and make information even clearer. Moreover, app animations should be a functional element rather than decor. There are different kinds of possible animations for different user inputs.

Feedback Animation: The user gets positive or negative feedback depending on his action. This is similar to pressing a button, so it imitates Interaction with real objects in the physical world. A feedback interaction can also be fun but it must serve a purpose.

Progress Animation: A progress animation needs to inform the user about the level of progress and can additionally be entertaining.

Loading Animation: It might also be viewed as a subtype of the progress animation and informs the user about the current status of the loading process and that a device is actually loading.

Attention-Grabbing Animations: These animations support a visual hierarchy by including motion. Motion is added to some elements to highlight them and make them more noticeable.

Transition Animation: Moving from one screen to another should be a positive user experience. Transitioning between screens is important in every app that doesn’t just consist of one static screen.

Navigation Animation: Here the designer’s mission is to simplify user interaction with a product as much as possible. That means the more complex the structure of an app is the more time a designer should spend on making navigation easier. 

Marketing/Logo Animation: The integration of branding is an important factor in most apps. Animating a logo or elements of the logo can make it more memorable and appealing.

Animated Notifications: You can use bright colors to highlight important information and animate any changes to make the user aware of key information.

Scroll Animation: Scrolling is one of the typical interactions we are used to in both web and mobile interfaces. Animation adds beauty and elegance to the process, makes it stylish, original and harmonious.

Storytelling and Gamification: One more reason for using animation in mobile apps is making it a part of a story or a game. Animated stickers, badges, rewards, mascots – these are only a few ways to make an app interface interesting and lively.

When designing an app you should decide whether an animation is beneficial in a specific context. Before applying animation in a mobile app, designers should analyze both positive and negative impacts this may have on app interactions. Here are some benefits, but it also depends on the context. A good in-app animation should:

…provide clear feedback to the user

…increase usability

…speed up the processes of interaction