In-built animations in mobile applications have become a vital element to ensure a captivating navigation channel for users.

There are over 7 Million apps combined on Apple and Google Play Store, and most of them use animation to make their mobile apps look more presentable. Animation not only makes navigation easier but also enhances the user experience.

The ZURB foundation quotes “We’re no longer just designing static screens. We’re designing for how the user gets from those screens to actually view [the] content.”

In this article, we will talk in detail about various types of mobile animations and the basic principles to follow in order to achieve a smooth mobile app design.

Objectives of Mobile Animations

1. User engagement:
Every application should have features that help users engage on the platform. Many social media apps have now become a selling space for businesses, and an effective user engagement insight helps them in assessing their performance among targeted customers.
Take the example of Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, users can react to posts, which boosts social interactions.

2. User experience:
95% of mobile apps get abandoned in their first month of usage as a result of bad user experience.
In-built animation plays a vital role in enhancing the experience of the users on the application. It is the face of the application and directly connects the users with the functionality of the platform.

3. User response:
When a person performs any action on an application, it must respond to the step taken and show the relevant results.
An efficient motion design will help the user in proper navigation by making them understand the connections between all the interface elements. It provides a systematic display of options to make the app attractive.

Types of animations

1. Structure & Navigation: Most mobile apps have a very structured framework that is made easy through animation. It simplifies the process of navigation for the users and helps them in finding elements that are hidden in the structure.
If you notice Spotify, it works on a very structured framework that allows users to access all the options through its in-built animations. 

2. Visual feedback: Users expect applications to respond to their actions through visual or audible feedback. It offers them a feeling of control and also indicates that the app is working fine.
Like when you click on the “Add to cart” option on a shopping app, it instantly notifies you that the action has been processed.
On the other hand, users can get extremely irritated if they do not receive such notification as feedback. It leads to a bad user experience and even deteriorates the application’s image before the users.

3. Fun animation: These motion designs are unique and basically made to captivate the users. The animation can be anything from drag and drop or 3-D design that instantly makes the user more connected and creates a fun environment on the platform.
However, the designers must ensure that the important features of the mobile app are not hidden due to extensive animation.

4. Function change animation: Every mobile app has multiple icons that perform a specific purpose. All these small elements contain function animation that responds when a user clicks on it.
You must have noticed that many app icons change colour or design when you take action. It is done by the designers intentionally to make the application more interactive.

5. System state animation: Whenever an action is being processed at the backend of your application, it must inform users about the ongoing process. It will ensure that the mobile app is running smoothly and not frozen.
For example, if you are recording audio in WhatsApp, the app will show you a wave indicating that the data is being recorded and will process as soon as you click on the send button.

6. Hierarchical Animation: Every icon present in your application is a stepping stone for the next option. This means all the elements need to be properly connected to ensure smooth animation.
So, if a person clicks on an icon, the next option should arise from its side and not abruptly from anywhere on the interface. The animation should possess a system hierarchy of the elements.

7. Visual prompt: Some animations can drop clues as to how a user can interact with certain elements. It becomes essential if your app design has some unpredictable patterns that not all users can understand in one go.
Hence, if you create a visual prompt to guide your users into taking an action, user experience elevates.

Major principles of Motion Design

1. Ease in / Ease out: When an object moves from one pointer to another, it takes a negligible step back and moves with a certain velocity to reach the other stop.
In the same way, you cannot establish a movement in your animation without giving it some extra time for acceleration and deceleration. It will ensure a smooth swing without making it look unreal.

2. Anticipation: Most apps do this for new users who might know the features of a platform. As the term suggests, ‘anticipation’ means prediction. The in-built animation will suggest some prompts actions that the users can take to move forward.
For example, the UNO mobile app helps the user understand the game by predicting future steps.

3. Timing: It is one of the major principles to align all your animation in appropriate places to make it look real.
The animation that you create must be inspired by the principles used in real life. All the objects in this world do not move in linear motion, so you can create a curve to make your animation look natural.

4. Movement trajectory: You must have a specific movement trajectory of your animation. This pattern should be followed throughout the mobile application to ensure all your animations are in sync with each other.
Real objects have a very flexible trajectory, whereas mechanical objects are mostly less flexible. You can decide on a single type of movement that your animation will possess throughout the application.

5. Focus animation: It is used to draw user attention to a particular spot. Many mobile apps use this principle to highlight any major point that the user might miss in the pool of information.

6. Exaggeration: It is similar to the above point. This principle is also used to attract users to acknowledge certain details on the interface by enlarging it.

7. Overlapping and follow-through: In the real world, objects take time between the movement made to reach from one point to another. You need to keep this in mind and design an animation that looks natural.
You can do it through the follow-through method, which is adopted by many famous mobile applications. The movement of your animation should overlap with each other to ensure there is no open end visible to the users.

Major pointers to consider before enabling in-app animation

1. Target audience: You must be well aware of the needs and expectations of your target audience. The animation must bridge the gap between the users and the interface.
For example, if your target audience is kids, then fun animation can be implemented to make the platform look more exciting.

2. Only when necessary: The animation used in the application must solve a purpose. It should be in sync with all the other animations. Do not just split out animation anywhere.
It will only distract the user from the app and deteriorate their user experience. It should make the process of navigation simpler by providing a captivating interface.

3. Be natural: All the animation used in your application must look natural and work on the theories of real life. Unreal animation does not attract users and pull off their minds from the application.

4. Consult experts: Building a mobile app is hard and implementing animation is harder. Your mobile application will be a platform where all your target audience comes together.
So, if you are stuck somewhere, take help from experts to enable animation that is smooth and works on real-world concepts.

The use of animation in mobile apps has become popular, and this sector will continue to boost in the years to come.
Building a platform that contains user-friendly animations can boost user experience immensely. It will make the navigation process much simpler without a doubt.
Thus, incorporate animations in your mobile apps that can resonate well with your audience and keep them more engaged.
​​Contact the App-Scoop Vancouver Mobile App Developers for further details.

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peter infini · March 4, 2022 at 1:09 am

Thanks for sharing amazing information.

smith infini · March 20, 2022 at 7:30 am

Great, you give me detailed information. This article was beneficial.Thanks for sharing such amazing information.

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