Using motion is an exciting way to liven up your designs – it brings an extra layer to your storytelling and helps you engage with audiences.

When designing, you are continually thinking about what factors will give a great user experience. Regardless of what type of digital platform you are using, app-based, web-based or anything else; you must be able to attract users and give them the ability to engage in a meaningful way.

What are UI animations?

UI animations are slightly different from regular motions. Unlike many actions that exist with the sole purpose of creating the illusion of movement, UI animations directly engage with users.

These animations help the user perform tasks and interact with your site or app intuitively. They can also be helpful in providing feedback to users and confirming to the website or app is doing what it is supposed to be doing.

A typical example of a UI animation that we all use every day is the pull down to refresh motion on mobile. Most apps and websites include this motion because it’s so useful in letting users know that the site is loading and reduces the chances of them clicking back because they think your site is slow or broken.


Animations should always be used thoughtfully and with the intent to enhance the user experience. Adding in unnecessary animations because it is the trend or it looks pretty will often do more harm than good.

The first step in adding animations to your site or app should be considering its purpose.


Inform your user about the stage of progress. This helps assure them that they are getting the desired result from their interaction and reduces the chance of them getting confused. In turn, this instils confidence in your site/app and will increase your conversion rates.

Action completed

Letting a user know that the action has been completed and the system has responded. These animations assure the user that the final step has happened – without fast and precise feedback at the end of an action, user experience suffers as they will often wonder if the system has received their response.

Drawing attention to a specific element on the page

If there is an element in your system that your users are missing but is important for them to interact with, adding an animation will draw attention to it. That being said, it should be done in a way that the user does not lose focus on the content. For example, if you create an image carousel, the user should be able to focus on the images rather than scrolling through the photos.

Supporting your brand

Animation can be used to enhance your brand image and draw attention to specific branded elements in your system. This method of using animations can be helpful in strengthening your brand image and building a consistent and trusting relationship with your users.

Elements of good UI animations


Subtlety is a crucial part of creating UI animations. They need to have a continuous flow and not distract from the rest of the page.


Having predictable animations help your users immediately understand them allowing them to quickly and effectively navigate your site or app. Users want actions to perform how they expect them too, creating complex animations will likely confuse them and may lead to them thinking they have not completed the action they wanted to.

Fluid transitions

Fluidity ensures that the user understands the relationship between two screens and the elements they contain.

To create successful UI animations ensure they are meaningful and enhance your user experience. They can be used to create seamless interactions within your system and boost conversions if applied correctly.

To learn more about adding animations to your website or app please get in touch