Entering the World of UI Animations: Learn How to Make One Step-by-Step

Updated 15 April 2024

Ajay Kumar
Ajay Kumar

CEO at Appventurez

When was the last time you visited a website or any application without a trace of animation?

Hard to remember?

Well, this is the reality, as a major number of websites, and mobile applications are integrating animations into the pages for maximum engagement and hooking users to the page for a longer run.

Animations are becoming the most integral part of any business strategy as it is a way to entice and engage users to the app. Starting from an enhanced user experience to making the app UI page appealing, animations are used for a major number of approaches. 

Also, there are over 5 million applications available as per Google Play Store Statistics, not being able to hook up and let users stay on the app or website might result in great losses.

Understanding how animation designing apps & websites are getting trendier and how the era of visual appearances is coming in, here is the blog dedicated to how to create mobile UI animations along with answering how is animation used in mobile applications that meet the needs of the users. 

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

How Is The Animation Used In Mobile Applications- A Narrative Summary?

The role of animation in a mobile application is to enhance usability. They are integrated into the mobile application to help users identify connections between interface elements and views along with letting them see a glimpse of what is happening in the mobile application, app screens, and page hierarchy while holding an interaction with them. 

There are mobile app animation examples like hover effects, click effects, processing bards, bouncing lists, and more that support improvising the usability and experience of the users. Also, integrating the right animation with thought and message behind not only holds users to the website and app but also helps in controlling, and navigating the app and website quickly and conveniently. 

Also, through interacting interface elements, figuring out the user’s overall impression and experience of the product can be analyzed. 

We have mentioned a few elemental animation-based effects, and there are many that are already there in mobile applications and websites for the same purpose- enticing, and engaging users to the respective platform for a longer run!

Keeping the same thought in mind, let us now begin with the types of mobile animations. 

Types Of Mobile Animations- For Animation Designing App

Feedback Animations

Feedback animations provide feedback to the users about a particular action done or failed! The use of feedback animation keeps the communication string between users and the app even.

As the user will be interacting with the application for getting things done, feedback animations are made with sensor screen features, tackle vibrations along with visual signs to inform users of the action. 

Animations are not just an information provider but also fun! Here is an example of an expandable button below, mimicking the physical interaction like bubbles- https://dribbble.com/shots/12237244-Liquid-Tab-Bar

Splash screen animations

It is the animation that users look at right after opening the application. It is made using the logo or identity of the company. Since splash screens do not have functional elements, they also work like entertainment- https://dribbble.com/shots/14645223-Coffee-Calculator-Onboarding-Process

Progress Animation

Instead of giving users a lot of time to wait while the process is getting done, bridge that gap with some animation showing what’s going on and what’s the progress. This helps users in offering them assurance of the process going on for the particular action. 

Aware and informing users of the process assure of positive user experience while making the user stay on the page till the process completes. Elements for showing progress can help in covering several points like- 

Loading Animation

Also, be called the subpart of the progress animation, loading animation informs users about the loading progress. Loading animations come in different variations like loaders, preloaders, and pull to refresh animations-https://dribbble.com/shots/14419352-Pull-to-refresh-with-Rive-2

Here is an example showing how the rings near the earth’s orbit are circling as a loading process, the next one is a tape, another one is a rocket, and so on. All of the cute animations are enough to engage users while informing them of the process too. 

Attention-Drawing Animation

This is the kind of animation that allows users to interact with the application. It is a form of general visual hierarchy with motion catching the attention of the users along with directing them for other necessary details- https://dribbble.com/shots/7717563-Food-App-Animation

Here is an example of the app showing vital information for the users instead of taking away the attention to other elements of the app.

Going through animations that are made to gain the attention of the users offers them the passage to reach their final goal. 

Transition Animation

Moving from one screen to another one is what is done by transition animation. They are great and showcase the overall process and the steps- https://dribbble.com/shots/11502498-Magic-Motion-in-Framer

Also, transition animation not only adores the app screen but creates a feeling of lightness and space on the screen. 

Here is another example of a water monitoring app showing a transition of the process informing users of the water quantity spent and other related vital info- https://dribbble.com/shots/14398531-Smart-Home-Water-Monitoring

Marketing Animation 

The right & balanced use of animation can also play an important role in creating brand awareness. Marketing animations are made to catch the attention of the users to the brand’s ideology. 

Here is a walking bean animation depicting a coffee shop-https://dribbble.com/shots/6259875-Walking-Bean

The animation made here is cute, and catchy, and offers an obvious feel of a coffee shop, or a coffee brand. 

Notifications Animation 

These notification animations are great for hooking users along making them see if they are missing something important in the application. Using the right set of colors, elements, and other important things, you can simply make the notifications animation catchy and good enough to make users use them-https://dribbble.com/shots/6432762-Notification-Center-Delete-action

Scroll Animation 

Used for both web and mobile applications, Scroll animations add a glimpse of beauty and elegance to the overall process resulting in a neat & clean, stylish, unique, and original approach- https://dribbble.com/shots/14088816-Ferrumpipe-Mobile-Version

Gamification & Storytelling

Animations are the most obvious part of any gaming or storytelling mobile application. The addition of stickers, badges, mascots, rewards and other virtual elements simply enhances the overall interface and experience of the users-https://dribbble.com/shots/11524488-Familiar-Faces-Sticker-Pack

Now that you are aware of the types of animations and their importance, it is now time to look at the backend of processing animation to an application. 

What Is The Process Of Integrating Animation Into The Application?

As said earlier, there is also a backend approach required to make the animation good enough not just enticing users but also to meet their expectations. Thus, before the final animation stage, there are five fundamental stages meant for the animation designing app. 

The 5 fundamental stages of app design are- 

  • Research
  • Wireframing
  • Prototyping
  • Testing
  • Visual designing 

These are the fundamental stages, there are more sub-points under each stage as per the requirements of the application. 

As you will be creating animation for the users to meet their requirements while fulfilling the purpose of the application too. So, you get started with the research. The research should be nicely made along with the competitor’s analysis. 

Wireframing is the sketching of the application you desire to make. It is basically the skeleton of the application with each expected element to be made. 

Then comes the prototyping, it is about testing the designs and ideas before investing majorly in the development of the application.

As and when things get settled down, steps towards the final app development take place as per the ideology, expectations, and user requirements. 

This is not the overall process of animation, there are more steps and things that take place during the process of app animations. 

What To Consider When Creating Animations For Mobile Apps?

Animation is a process that is integrated not just to add a fun option but also to inform, aware, engage, and entice users to the app page or to the website. Thus, to create a small animation, one needs to follow all the factors in order to bring the desired results. 

Those considerable factors for creating UI animation for mobile applications are- 

Stick to the guidelines

When first beginning with the animation designing app, make sure you are keeping an eye on the current top mobile app UI design trends along with sticking to the designing guidelines for the platform you are designed for. 

Here is a mobile app design- https://dribbble.com/shots/7315601-Mobile-Application-Watch-Your-Phone 

The interface is easy, clean, and can be understood by the users easily. 

A leading mobile app development company can surely help you with the mobile app animation while following all the guidelines to make things nicely align with the requirements.

Moving on, there are situations when the design has to be out of the box but using the given guidelines. For such situations, it is good to get started with a rough idea. Get started with a pen and pencil and a notepad, search for ideas, look for competitors, and opt for the best motion designing, and UI trends. 

Stay loyal to the brand’s identity and user demands

Whenever working on an animation designing app, make sure you are sticking to the ideology of the brand while keeping the user’s requirements in mind. It is good to make a balance between the product’s idea and the needs of the target audience. 

Take for example- if you are creating a fitness application, use good images, vibrant colors, bounce effects, real-life characters, or a few fun elements to engage users for a more interactive experience.  https://dribbble.com/shots/7893560-Fitness-App

Also, as per the app and the target audience, make sure you are picking up the colors, and theme accordingly. 

Social and ethical norms

When working on how to make UI animation, it is good to ensure that you are not going over the bridge or under the bridge. Simply make a connection between what are you trying to offer to your users and how they can perceive it also. 

Be sure of social and ethical norms, and ensure you are not hurting the sentiments of the users, or neglecting any social issues and other things. Doing so will make your app receive negative comments and ultimately leave no space for its success. 

With it, let us now move towards UI animation tools to make things happen in a concrete manner. 

Top UI animation tools For Animation Designing App

Answering how to choose a tool for designing animations, it is good to consider what the app is all about and what are its immediate requirements. 

There are a number of UI animation software and UI animation tools that work as per the desired goal for developing animated applications. 

Let’s check out those known tools for animation designing apps one by one- 

Principle & Flinto

Called the most easiest and convenient UI animation tools for mobile apps, both Principle & Flinto carry some restrictions too. They are incapable of implementing 3D animations and also cannot export specifications for developers. 

To take advantage of both of these tools, you will also require some additional tools. Apart from that, you can build prototypes quickly with Principle & Flinto along with creating custom animations.

After Effects

After Effects is made for creating a plethora of animations for mobile applications, however, the tool is not made for prototyping. Moving on, with the built-in plugins, After Effects can seamlessly export animations to the code. To use the tool, one needs to have mastery over it. 

Origami Studio

Created by Facebook, Origami is one of the free UI animation tools. Using the tool, mobile app designers can create interactions and animation through drag & drop components from the UI library.

Framer

The open-source software based on JavaScript, Framer is designed for interactive animations. This UI animation tool can conveniently import images in Sketch and Photoshop.

Mockplus Cloud

The online collaboration tool for animation designing app, Mockplus Cloud is a great help for designers and developers. It is not just a tool for designing interactive prototypes, it is also a tool that makes designers handoff designs with assets, code snippets, interactive prototypes, and others automatically. 

Using the tool, designers can upload the wireframe and visual design from Adobe XD, PS, and also from Sketch.

Motion UI

Motion UI is a UI animation tool for creating CSS animations and transitions. The tool has a CSS file along with more than 20 premade transitions and animation classes too. Also, through the SaaS files, designers can build their own animation effects. 

Lottie

An open-source library developed by Airbnb, Lottie- a UI animation tool that supports iOS, Android, and Windows. The tool can render Json files easily that can be further exported from Adobe After Effects- something which is great for implementing animation effects. 

Till now we have talked about the process of integrating mobile app animations while sticking to the guidelines in order to meet user’s demands, however, there are still things left to make your animation out of the box, and appealing too!

Let’s explore those factors too-

Excellent Tips For Mobile App Animations

Layout preparation

To get started with how to make UI animation, begin with making the layout in detail and with the necessary elements. Structure all the components in the layout, write meaningful names to the layers, combine all the layers, make them into a group, eliminate unnecessary layers, once done, merge all the components together for final animation. 

In short, include everything in the layout you would want in your animation, write them down, and differentiate them on the basis of steps or phases. 

Be loyal to the brand’s ideology

Of course, you are creating animation designing apps for the users but not sticking to the brand’s ideology will not bring the right and expected results for the business too. Thus, it is crucial to balance the situation between the brand’s idea and the app animation about to be done. 

For example- a tech-based company would want some tech-based animation, however, a kid-based application would require cute little animations, effects, and elements. 

Animation of different devices

What is appealing animation for one user might be a glitchy or failed experience for the other user. Also, in any of the given situations like- 

In each case, you need to double-check the animation on different devices in order to offer an enhanced and smooth experience to the user.

Duration of animation

Animations are great for engaging users, however, you need to remember that the animation you are making is also meant to inform users. You are not creating a cartoon or a series of it, the animation you are creating is a part of the mobile app interface. Thus, create an animation that provides an enhanced user experience and not a cluttered or glitchy one. 

Apart from that, keep a close eye on the duration of the animation too. Too long animation simply makes users wait and moreover, they might switch to another app. To eliminate any of such issues, make sure you are rightly following all the guidelines and timing sense too. 

Attention to important elements

To gain the attention of the users to the application, use the right colors, and elements, and place everything right to the application. Thus, depending on the importance of the animation, designers can increase the intensity, depth, speed, size, or color of the element. 

When doing so, make sure you are not going above or below the box, just make the right balance between everything so that you are informing, educating, and awarding users instead of annoying or irritating them. 

Cascading effect

What to consider when creating animations for mobile applications is now a cascading effect. For creating animation elements that look like a waterfall, designers can add delays to the content. Google’s Choreography principle states that a 20-millisecond break between groups of elements is acceptable. 

Status changing buttons

Buttons are the visual representation of the feedback to the users. To engage users in the app, you can always make the button change color as and when a certain action is done or made. 

Conclusion 

Be it answers how to make UI animation, how to make animation on mobile, UI animation tools, how to choose a tool for designing animations, and what to consider when creating animations for mobile applications have been answered above. 

If in case you are stuck somewhere or finding it difficult to get started with mobile app animations that not only align to the ideology of the business but are also capable of hooking users to the app, connect with our app animation experts!

Ajay Kumar
Ajay Kumar

CEO at Appventurez

Ajay Kumar has 15+ years of experience in entrepreneurship, project management, and team handling. He has technical expertise in software development and database management. He currently directs the company’s day-to-day functioning and administration.


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