Mobile User Experience Mobile User Experience

What Does Animation Have To Do With Mobile UX?

Rachel Hinman, a research scientist in the area of mobile user experience, argues in this article for Smashing Magazine that motion has become a significant mobile design element. She uses Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston’s 12 basic principles of animation as her starting point, and illustrates how each of those principles are relevant to UI elements in a mobile app.

Hinman misses the mark on a few things. She doesn’t understand squash and stretch because it’s not present in either of the examples she uses to illustrate the concept. She also misunderstands straight ahead versus pose-to-pose as meaning full versus limited animation. But the broad arc of her argument—that user experience designers need to pay closer attention to animation—is quite valid. Whenever I use an app, I’m always cognizant of the animation elements, and more than once I’ve been frustated by a clunky use of animation in an app’s interface. It’s safe to say that as motion becomes an increasingly integral part of mobile user experience, the demand for classically trained animators to work in the field should also grow.

(Photo of woman via Shutterstock)