Importance of micro‑animation
If you ask designers what makes a good user experience, they will probably tell you how the little things can make a difference between a great experience and the dull one. Also, these details can interact with the user, making the user’s experience exciting and engaging. Interactions on the web or in the apps can let the user control and manage content on the screen, so it’s important to understand why do we need those interactions and how to make the user engage more with the website/app.
Interactions with the app or websites can take an impact on how we perceive the content and products. Those interactions can play a vital role in bringing delight to the user by the use of animation and transition effects so implementing animation in your designs is a way to make your design alive, it brings a depth that makes the overall experience and interactions more understandable and exciting for the user.
What are Micro‑animations and how to use them?
As we all know, the human eye is attracted to movement and motion. Motion on the web have a role in which they can be used as function but also as visual element, so we can say that micro‑animations get a big part in UX, but can also improve the UI.
Micro‑animations are small motions that tie together elements of an interface or design. They act as visual feedback for the user, making the UX process more accurate and making sure that your actions within the interface are visually represented.
However, there is a slight difference between micro‑interactions and micro‑animations which needs to be established. Micro‑interactions start with a trigger that evolves into a set of instructions that are visually represented through animations. ‑animations are the visual output of the micro‑interaction.
Since micro animations can guide a user’s eye across the page, they can also show the user what steps to take next. Even if the page design is as simple as can be, movement clarifies what the user needs to do in order to use the app or website correctly. For example, when you click on this hamburger menu, it transforms into an X. Now the users can see what action is performed and transformed into.
Today, micro animations are essentials when it comes to a user's interaction with the app/website and they translate your actions into visual confirmation, making the user experience better and engaging which is the ultimate goal. More engagement can lead to better sales and happier user, do it’s crucial to have a great interaction experience or the user could get bored or confused.
What makes a great micro‑animation?
When it comes to animations inside the app or website, there is a fine line between too much and not enough. When creating micro‑animations, we need to be careful of their purpose.
For example, let’s see an animated buttons. They can play the role of information manager by letting the user know their way through your app or site, so when designing, we need to be careful with color, shape, special effects, placement, and texture to make the user experience seamless. If the animation is too complex or just doesn't match with the rest of the design, then we get the opposite effect on engagement and user experience.
Micro‑animations need to be smooth in transition and well balanced. Getting this balance is maybe the hardest part of creating micro‑animations, but when you define the colours, motion and the purpose of the micro‑animation which you want to include, the flow gets easier and the results are better.
If you have a limited time or you don’t want to make animations from scratch, you can always use predefined ones from one of many animation libraries like useAnimations.
Without micro‑animations, our experience would be less exciting and bland with more room for mistakes and errors. Our interaction with the app or website would be just plain clicking and “guessing” which can lead to fewer page views and more negative perspectives towards that app/website or product itself. Also, if the users don't have a visual input or confirmation, they can get bored or simply confused with the process.
Read our Animated Times - Why Should You Use Animations blog post to find out the importance of using animations in websites and their basic implementation on frontend.