Top 6 UI Animation Tips

What every designer should remember in order to make good animation

Rick Mess       |       Jul 19, 2021

1. Don’t forget Grandpa Disney

The classic Disney animation principles are as relevant as ever and they still apply to anything that happens onscreen. When creating animation, strive to achieve realistic motion of the objects and always make sure they pass the “Disney test.” Obviously, this may not apply to some projects and design styles (for example, Disney principles may be inappropriate for an insurance commercial).

2. Justify every animation

Any animation must be functional and justified. Animation just for its own sake is worse than no animation at all. Each action must have a goal, be reasonable and necessary. Good animation should help the user achieve the goal and highlight the outcome. So start with figuring out how to do that and what tricks, techniques, and tools will work better toward achieving the goal.

3. Justify the choice of style

The choice of style largely depends on the project goal and objectives. If the project needs to be unique or if you try to develop your own style, then following current trends or copying others’ work is not a good idea.

Analyze information from different sources, combine all this newfound knowledge, and use it to create something uniquely yours. By blending together various styles and your own vision, you can create your unique personal style.

4. Create order

Don’t forget to caption and structure all your projects. Sort a project’s elements by file type. Give understandable names to folders and elements. This will help you avoid a confusing mess as the elements multiply. It will also save you search time when you need to edit something and will make it much easier to find older projects.

5. Save your work

Make it a rule to save your work to prevent accidental loss of data so that you won’t have reason to be sorry. Ctrl + S = habit. It’s a good habit that will save you lots of stress in case of software or power malfunction. Don’t forget to save intermediate versions of the project, either. A client may want to go back to a previous version, so it’s a good idea to keep it.

6. Keep growing and improving

Do not become complacent, keep improving your skills, look for new promising tricks and techniques.

Good ways of expanding your horizons and perfecting your skills are learning script-writing algorithms, basic illustration, drama, photography, and videography.

Here’s a bonus tip: studying marketing will be invaluable. It will help you better understand your audience and how to attract it. Marketing will teach you to work with clients and present yourself and your work convincingly. It’s not enough to create a cool project; you need to know how to sell it and defend your concept.

And don’t forget to take breaks, switch to other fun activities and have fun. This will help you find more sources of inspiration and generate fresh new ideas.

Huge thanks to the talented Paul Motion Designer for his help in researching the subject and for his awesome animations.