How to Bring Your Mobile Apps to Life with Motion Design
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How to Bring Your Mobile Apps to Life with Motion Design

Swati Soni
By Swati Soni| Friday, April 13, 2018 14:10 PM |6 min read
motion design

Till a few years back, any and all forms of motions and animations were associated with the definition of bad site UI. Remember the old age advertisement websites which showed offers in circular balls bouncing off from one corner of the screen to another? The case of motion in web design was a sad case.

But, ever since the advent of mobile apps, the scenario has changed so much so that motion UI has now become a popular design trend.

Modern day interface is no more about static elements. With motion design, brands are now covering the void between software and human primal need of variety and connection.

“The most intuitive and pleasurable element of web and mobile application services are the one that involve Motion Design.”

Incorporated at different mobile app journey stages, motion designs can not just make the users swoon over your app movements but also increase the app session time. They have now become a symbol of fun, innovativeness, and a sure shot medium of binding users with their applications.

There are a number of stages or rather a number of ways app development companies have been adding motion elements in mobile and web apps. Here are some of them –

Slow App Loadings are Now Enjoyable

Slow app loads are as common in occurence as days and nights, they happen all the time. There can be a number of issues behind it – low network from the users’ front, technical issue on the backend, or too many requests being made on the server at the same time. But, irrespective of the reason, slow load time is the number one reason that takes the users away from the app.

Well, no more. By adding motion elements in every case of low load time, designers can keep the users hooked just to see the elements or the animation to glide on the screen.

An Onboarding Experience that People will Keep Getting Back for

One of the most common use case of Motion Design is seen in the onboarding stage of the app journey.

Used to explain and make the user acquainted with the app, animation is being incorporated by brands to make it easy for the users to find their way around for the first few runs.

Emboss App in Users’ Minds with Mental Map

Taking the Onboarding Experience to the next level, motion designs help users create a mental map that fits the app flow in the mind. Have you ever noticed yourself pulling the top gmail bar down to refresh your mail box? I doubt it. And the reason you don’t remember this is because it has been embossed into you just like blinking of the eyes, you no more have to think twice, it happens automatically.

Let the Users Know What They are Doing Right and Wrong

Motion elements can be one of the most impactful ways of letting the users know that they have encountered an issue or that they have crossed a level successfully.

When designing to highlight an error, it is important to show users exactly what they are doing wrong.

Wrong password shake is the one animation that achieves it perfectly.

Just like you show what users are doing wrong just with your motion, the feedback motion should also show the successful events. A simple mail box popup with a tick mark animation would show the users that their mail was sent.

In the end, never keep the users wondering what they are doing wrong or if they were able to do something successfully.

Now that you have seen how motion elements make the app journey more fun and memorable, let us now look at the design principles that you should employ to keep your motion elements from crossing over to the side of tackiness and uselessness.

The Walt Disney Articulated Principles that you Should Embody in Your Mobile App

Every app development company that has worked with motion elements knows that the line between innovation and over doing is very line and it is the place where they blur, problem begins – Users become disinterested and apps goes from being useful to becoming plain confusing.

To prevent your motion signs and movements from seeing the similar fate, follow these design principles that were first articulated by Walt Disney but are still capable of delivering a memorable enjoyable experience like Mickey Mouse.

1. Motion Movement Trajectory

The design principle that has been prevalent in the industry follows the rule that animated shapes should mainly follow a straight trajectory movement. But we know better. You cannot really offer an outwardly Web & Mobile Application Design Service with one leg in old traditions.

To make users fall in love with your motion elements, you will have to add new movement trajectories – curve, vertical, or even wave like and then show people that, visually

2. Timing of when the Motion appears

Any motion prompt that comes at users’ screen out of the blue without any action motivating it, should be avoided. If you are incorporating motion in your app UI, do it at a time which asks for it.

There are times when it makes sense to add motion like when users enters the wrong password, but an animated tick to show they have entered the right credentials can be ignored.

So, before you overboard with them, know at what stage they are actually needed.

3. Focus on the Focus of Animation

If your app has a lot happening on the screen in terms of content, design elements, or image and video wise, have a motion element that comes with a tinted blinking background or blurs in and out so that users know what to do next.

All your immovable motion features will lose their value if you fail to show their presence on the app screen.

4. Animation Speed

Assuming that you would be making a mobile app for ordinary humans and not Flash, your motion elements should move at the speed of a feather glide. Give users time to adjust their eyes on the movement instead of making it too fast for them.

A pro tip: Add a rhythm to your motion. While adding movement into movement seems like a nonsensical thing to do, but know that by doing it, you will be going one step ahead of the whole app resonance game straight from the users’ subconscious level.

5. Become an On-the-face Motion Piece

Used mostly in flashcard quiz based and eCommerce apps, these motion types makes the next move a no-brainer for the users.

By moving too evidently, like in case of a discount countdown or the drop of location pin in case of Uber, you will be able to lead the users exactly where you want to be while creating a memorable brand image for yourself.

In the article we have told you how motion elements are the key differentiator between a boring app and an innovative one, the right stages for incorporating them and even the design principles that should be followed. Now it is time to let you go and explore the quirky yet useful world of Motion Design with just a few things to remember bullet points to take along as parting notes.

  • Every time you add a motion element, ask yourself why this, why now.
  • Have motion elements present in your app development plan from the early stages.
  • Discuss its feasibility with the developers at every stage.
  • Don’t be shy, share your ideas on Motion Design in the comments.

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