If interface elements do not exhibit basic motion design principles, then usability gets undermined. In UX design, motion aids in extending the reach of visual communication. It is a captivating force that strengthens product engagement and expands the spread of design communication.
Understanding Motion in UI
Motion is more than a few moving elements on a screen.
The user's interaction with an interface, irrespective of human or digital, generally consists of a series of actions and reactions. The connection between these actions and the desired user reaction is reinforced and simplified by motion design. Motion UI influences animation and movement within an interface to guide the user experience.
It conveys a sequence, action, or transition for a web product by simultaneously combining audio, video, and text. Motion is also largely used as a branding tool to reinforce interactions and visual cues that may be associated with a brand. Simply put, Motion UI is a SaaS library that helps to develop customized CSS transitions and animations.
Applying Motion UI in Design
When a user clicks a button on an application, they expect a reaction. The animation present in applications enables that reaction. Given below are examples of how adding motion design in UI, helps increase the usability of the app/website and leads to a satisfying user experience. With the help of motion UI, a brand can be made more human, with a personality, and diversified from static to dynamic.
Motion UI enables users to understand the connection between two items on a website. Transitions help users to connect the data present, from one location to another and divert the focus of the user when moving from one feature to another. Jakob Nielsen in his 1993 book Usability Engineering speaks about how a user spends 0.1 seconds to see whether the system reacts instantaneously. If the transition in-between screens take any longer, a user starts to lose focus.
Motion design helps a user understand a website/app flow between screens by making the navigation smooth, easier, and engaging. It is also helpful in transitions during loading times. Motion UI with the help of animations helps in holding onto the focus of the user as necessary data is downloaded. It also helps to shorten the wait time.
Micro-interactions help to create a moment of engagement with the user to get the desired response. They’re usually found all over an app/website. Most micro-interactions start with an animation that acts as a trigger to cause a reaction. This helps the user know what is happening and navigate inside an app/website easily.
Micro-interactions as the name suggests, are small interactions that trigger feedback. Elements such as digital alarms, swiping animation, scrollbar, and pull to refresh, all fall under micro-interactions. Similar to these elements, initiate chat, action button motion, hamburger animation, and loading also help in interacting with users.
Animation helps to set the tone for a brand’s identity. It acts as a personality booster. Designers use animations to elicit emotions. For example - we often relate to a person through the way they talk, walk, react, and laugh, i.e. - their personality. Similarly, when it comes to brands, it is the tone that helps strike a chord with the user.
Designers design animated logos for branding and this is a great solution to ensure extra attention. This technique ensures brands are able to draw a user’s attention to the organization’s identity and in turn increase brand awareness. Motion design acts as an effective tool for authentic and stylish product presentation. Interactive websites often enable designers to engage the user and draw their attention to a product, brand, or organization.
Animation can also be used as a decorative element too, as long as it does not affect a user’s experience negatively. While they may not always be an essential feature, it adds to the appeal of the product, often helping make an unpleasant experience a little better. Sometimes, by opting for a cute and funny animation, a positive experience can be built, especially for a page that might be inherently negative, eg. - error 404. Animations also help to hold onto the user’s attention.
Future of motion design in UI
Motion design is an effective tool that helps to keep an app/website user-oriented. It can make monotonous tasks such as scrolling lists and entering passwords, fun and quick. With growing digital usage and demand, users are expecting fluid interfaces that provide quick responses to touch. A design is able to come alive when it responds to touch and meaningful connections are built when the response is delightful.
The future of design will include the advent of advanced motion tools that will enable designers to better visualize and test the UX of products. The application of motion to different elements of design in order to achieve those principles will pose a strong tool for designers. Motion will have the ability to convey a story, through enhanced personality building and creating a lasting relationship with the user. It is also necessary to assure that motion design is baked into the design process to ensure its effectiveness.
While design is all about problem-solving, motion design acts as a strong tool to achieve that. It provides a sense of realistic interaction. With changing times as everything becomes interactive, user experience also tends to become quicker and more compelling. Motion design helps to solve problems while adding new interface design solutions. This ensures a better and more practical user experience.
Incorporating motion design as a necessary tool during the crafting of an interface helps to create a user-oriented app. Motion UI helps designs come alive and create better connections with users through better usability and unique experiences.