Why Animations Are the Lifeline to a User’s Experience

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Author : Minds Metricks

February 21, 2019

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Animations give web design professionals a chance to make use of their creativity.

Although they make users laugh, they must be designed to be functional in addition to adding beauty to a site’s interface. Well-designed and functional animations make the interface friendly and usable. They are the lifeline to a user’s experience.

In this article, we tell you why your web or mobile interface needs animations.

Provides Feedback to the User

Source: Muz.li

A well-designed animation provides visual feedback to the user that an action has been taken successfully. Additionally, users get to know the results of an action they have made. In case the operation was not successful, then the user gets to know this in a simple and user-friendly manner. 

This bridges the communication gap as the user feels like they are in communication with real screen elements.  The use of motion makes this experience intuitive and navigation friendly. 

An excellent example of this is the error shake animation used by Stripe Checkout. This animation helps to tell the user that something is not right.

Informs the User of the Progress of a Process

We are all aware that processes such as data uploading or downloads can take some time. In such moments, the user shouldn’t be left guessing if the process is still ongoing or not. Research indicates a second of delay in your site or process speed can make you lose 7% of potential conversions. However, there is an easy way to keep a user engaged in those few seconds of delay. 

  • The use of animation.
  • The use of loading bars, for instance, is a good means of letting the user know that the process is underway.
Source: dribble.com

Another good example is the use of the loading wheel that is commonly used to show that a process is underway.

Source; Giphy

Such animations make the waiting time bearable. They also reassure the user that the process is still ongoing leading to positive user experience.

Offers Clear Navigation

Source: uimovement.com

When a user opens your site or app, he has to deal with numerous screen items. If the user is not familiar with the navigation process of such a site, he will be at a loss on where to start. Animations are the best solution when it comes to giving users hints on where to go. 

Such navigation animations highlight essential details on your site. They also give direction, making navigation easy. This saves the user time that would have been spent scanning the whole site layout figuring out the meaning of the different apps or the direction to take.

Draws Users Attention

It is hard to not to look at something that is moving. This is why animation is attention-grabbing. Animations that act as visual hints can direct users to take actions that might not be very obvious on the site. They are also used to draw the attention of the user to an important thing the user needs to do or notice.

Animations intended to draw the users attention also allows the user to concentrate on the screen rather than look at other distractions. Such animations make the usability of an app easier and also improve the desirability of a product. 

A perfect example is the use of a shake by CodePen to highlight the save button. This online site is used to write and publish codes. The shake-save animation reminds the user to constantly save their work as they write.

Source: Codepen.io

Acts As a Transition Guide

When states in an app change, it can be difficult for users to follow. Transition animations make navigation easy by transporting the user from one state to the other while keeping them well informed of the changes happening on the screen through visual connections. They also add style to the whole process of navigation.

A good example is the add-a-cart animation used on the Cotton Bureau site. This animation helps to transition the user from the main screen to another slide where you can navigate and add your purchase to the cart. When you first browse the site, the add-to-cart functionality is not visible. However, once you click on the menu icon, the option is provided for you from the left of the screen.

Source: Shopify

Adds Beauty and Elegance to the Screen

Source: Reddit

Even as we focus on the functionality and usability offered by animation we should not forget the aesthetic benefit animation offers.

Animations help to highlight colors and gradients. Others add the illusion of additional space to the layout making it appear light.  They also make the design sleek. Animations are also catchy and add an emotional appeal to the layout. Through motion, an animation can make a dull page pop and make the user’s experience enjoyable and memorable.

Makes the Interaction Natural

Animation brings a natural interaction effect on a user’s experience with the site or app. The controls and buttons used in animation should appear tangible although behind a screen. This makes the user feels like they are directly manipulating what is happening on the screen. Further, the user feels comfortable and at ease as he or she navigates the screen. 

Additionally, it makes the interaction feel smooth which makes for a pleasant user’s experience. An excellent example of such an animation is the Google Fonts color picker bucket. The motion of this animation indicates that the colors come out of a bucket which allows us to think of a real bucket with paint colors.

Source: Google Fonts


In conclusion, animations improve and enrich your interface leading to a positive user’s experience. Use animations to give feedback, keep the user engaged in case of an ongoing process, provide navigation, and adding beauty and elegance to your interface. Additionally, animations are perfect at drawing users’ attention to important interface details, acting as transition guides and making the whole interaction process between your interface and the user natural.

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