How to use Functional Animation for an Improved user Experience?

Saurabh Tiwary | 31st January 2017

Animations have their existence for a long time. However, as a result of the increasingly better browsers and flash content, it’s crucial to spend some time on animations for your web or mobile app design interfaces. In designing an out of the box and usable interface, the prime concern is to delight users and keep them engaged with your content. Functional animation is a great tool for such applications. These are minute movements that help users understand every action being performed.

There are several ways you can use functional animation to boost your design usability. Take a look.


Intuitive Interfaces

Through functional animations, the user is able to understand the hierarchy and so elements are placed in context. This creates a focus and the user bears a sense of direct manipulation as it sees something happen directly.

Understandable Change and Context

In the case of small screens and the flat design, it’s crucial to represent all the necessary information. And for the reason, we sometimes hide important elements. This can be overcome by use of subtle animation. For an instance, to use clear navigation, functional animations can be the solution.

With highly packed content, expanding without using functional animation is a lot less clear to signify where it comes from. Animation supplies context, making sure the user doesn’t get lost.

Hierarchy & Special Focus

Creating a focus on the individual component is one of the main reasons why we should employ functional animations. Anything that has got some movement attracts attention. So, you can expect for attention by animating several elements. This can be a lot more useful during the onboarding-moment. Focus on the button that you want the users to click to start an action on the page.

However, during this process, you need be careful about using too many animations doing which you will end up flattening the hierarchy. It will also tone down the actual message being communicated.


Direct Manipulation

With the help of animations, you can boost the sense of direct manipulation. Whenever the effect of an action is directly visible, there is a lot of scopes to influence it. For an example, think of swiping and dragging of elements of an interface.

Touch Interface

Most of the touch devices do not have hover states. Even though it is useful to use animations on those touch devices. You can always provide feedback about the ongoing actions that have been completed.
For an instance, think of a finger covering a button while tapping it. It might be more usable for your design to give feedback on the actual touch-moment.

Brand Experience

Functional Animation can help you reinforce your brand design experience. Your design gets more attributes through micro-animations.
A great example is the Google logo. They use dots in the speech recognition tool. Through these 4 dots, they communicate 4 different statuses i.e., listening, waiting, processing and answering.

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Saurabh Tiwary

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