browse browse contact us contact us

Animation Processes and Tools UI/UX

Animated Interactions. Motion on Purpose

The article by Tubik Studio considering the most popular and essential purposes of using UI animation which improves interaction in UI and enhances user experience.

Motion is the powerful way to liven up design solutions. In our previous articles, we have already shared some ideas on the significant potential of animation in interface design, when it is used wisely and purposefully. The topic is definitely broad and comprehensive so here we will continue the thoughts provided by us earlier with a further step to explore interface animation in more details.

This time we will be concentrated on some purposes that can make the designer think about animated interface elements as the sort of a design solution improving interaction and providing the positive user experience.

tubikstudio motion designer


Purpose is a key

As we mentioned in our previous article, today interface animation is a great way to retain users as it makes their user experience pleasant and enables solving their problems faster. However, a designer should deeply analyze its potential for increasing usability, utility, and desirability of the product before making a decision to apply any sort of motion design. Animation should be used thoughtfully and always have a clear purpose. Advantages and usefulness of its application in the interaction process have to be obvious and outweighing possible disadvantages. The animation should become the icing on the cake, not a fly in the ointment. The purpose is a key that opens the door to efficient design solutions.

Therefore, the first thing to decide on is the purpose why animation could be applicable in the interface. Here is the list of possible purposes.


Purpose: Showing that the process is progressing

One of the important and essential positive features of interface animation is communication with the user. Animated interface details are able to instantly inform the user about the processes he or she is involved in. Therefore, one of the aims of motion design in UI is to inform the user about the stage of progress.

As we mentioned in the post devoted to animated microinteractions, this is probably one of the most widely-used types of interface animation. It lets the user instantly understand that the process is going on and even show what stage of the process is actual now. The biggest advantage of this animated interaction is providing assurance for the users, making them calm and confident in the process of using the product. A confident and happy user in the vast majority of cases means positive user experience and provides the good ground for high conversion rates.

Certainly, it is not the magic wand, and usability of this trick should be supported with all the other thought-out design elements. However, this particular kind of animated interactions really needs to be considered in terms of creating an efficient user interface informing the user quickly.

preloader animation tubik-studio


tubikstudio pull refresh animation

Pull To Refresh 

tubik studio motion design

Timeline App 


Purpose: Showing that the action is done

One more popular purpose of user interface animation is somehow the next step of the interaction. It doesn’t show the process, it shows it’s finalization. Again, it’s one more way to inform the user which means that the importance of such interaction is high. At every step of interaction with the product, a user needs to understand clearly and quickly if the action was done and the system responded to it. No wonder, the usability of the product design really suffers if this sort of feedback is not provided as fast and obviously as possible. Various sorts of animated elements from simple ticks to complicated animated mascots or illustrations can serve this need.

Nevertheless, the matter of simplicity for this sort of animation is also the point to consider. Complex animation can overload the page or screen or take too much time for such a simple operation, so it should be properly analyzed. On the other hand, original animation can become both informing and attractive, it can entertain the user which is also an important feature for some applications and websites. Knowledge about the target audience and its potential preferences is extremely helpful here.

switch animation tubik studio

Switch Control Animation 

hamburger button tubik studio

Hamburger button 


Purpose: Grouping the data

One more potential aim is providing groups of any kind for a big base of typical data. Animation, in this case, can liven up the process, especially in terms of a transition from one group to the other. There can be cards with personal data, separated conversations and chats, data about items and products, information about transport, and tons of other options. Motion added wisely here creates the illusion of physical contact with the data cards or groups and can provide a good reason for feeling this experience as positive.

ui concept animation design

UI Animation Concept 

tubikstudio blog app ui animation

Blog App

tubik studio motion design ui

Green Spy Animation 

station menu interactions

Boat Station App 


Purpose: Drawing attention to specific elements

This sort of animation is used to highlight something important that users can possibly miss while shouldn’t. Being animated, the element of the layout gets much higher chances to be noticed even if it’s quite small. However, this sort of animation should be used carefully, otherwise, it can distract the user’s attention instead of concentrating it. If this type of animation is applied, preferably only one element of the layout should be animated in terms of one interaction in order to achieve the highest attention ratio.

product card ui animation tubikstudio

Product Card Animation 


Purpose: Providing a prompt to the user

This sort of animation is actually very close to the previous as its initial general aim is to draw attention to the particular element by means of motion. In this case, the trick is used to give users a clue what sort of interaction can be accomplished in places where this interaction is not obvious for everyone. Small unobtrusive interface animation provides instant communication with the user and shows the necessary direction to move one, simplifying the process of dealing with the interface. This kind is really helpful in terms of providing intuitive navigation and therefore usability, crucial for positive user experience.

tracking app design

UI Animation for Tracking App

Purpose: Supporting general style and branding

One of the cases, when a slight animation is applicable, is adding some motion to the elements of branding which are used in the layout to support brand awareness. In one of our articles, we have mentioned that the strategy of consistent using elements of branding in the interface, especially applied directly in the process of interaction with a product, can be an effective method significantly strengthening brand image. Animation can enhance this effect, draw attention to specific branding elements, and increase general recognizability of the brand.

saily app animation tubikstudio design case study

Animation for Saily.App


Purpose: Keeping consistency of transitions

This sort of animation is mostly used in web design frequently in the process of scrolling the page. The effect of well-know and widely-used parallax or other sorts of animated transition has not only the aim of entertaining and creating immediate WOW-effect as it often seems. The deeper function of such a technique is creating a feeling of consistency that makes transitions smoother and more natural. Thus it can create a positive feeling in the process of interaction and if necessary keep elements requiring more attention always in view. Nevertheless, the effect of style and aesthetic pleasure which can be raised by this sort of animation, also shouldn’t be underestimated as it is a good way to attract attention and tickle user’s curiosity.

tubik studio web ui design

Birds of Paradise Encyclopedia 

tubikstudio museu landing page



Purpose: Shock and awe


Perhaps, you remember the episode of “Hitch” comedy where the guy wishing to attract the girl he loved was instructed that the first step to this is to “Shock and awe!” Somehow, it is one of the techniques to work out in design also because users actually start an interaction with the product at the moment they notice it and get curious to try. Sometimes, animation can become the feature instantly grabbing their attention and giving a positive feeling of engagement from the very start. Even a simple splash screen with interesting animation can serve this purpose. Again, this sort of motion design on the screens or web-pages can provoke many debates as the one with the least practical value. However, practice shows that practical issues are not the only thing people want to get from the products they choose. Aesthetic pleasure, entertainment, gamification and challenges, fun and cuteness, style, and amazement can also be strong features in favor of your particular product among the others on the market.

tubik landing page scroll animation

Landing Page Animation 

calendar app animation tubik

Calendar App Animation 

So, the conclusion here is simple: any animation which is applied in the interface should have a clear purpose enhancing general user experience. In the vast majority of cases, UI designer and motion designers try to find design solutions in which animated elements will satisfy multiple options increasing usability and desirability of the interface.

Recommended Articles

Interface Animation. The Force of Motion

UI Animation: Microinteraction for Macroresult

Animated Interactions. Motion on Purpose

UI Animation: Eye-Pleasing, Problem-Solving

UI in Action. 15 Animated Design Concepts of Mobile UI

Case Study: Upper App. Coding UI Animation

Creative Motion: 12 Concepts of Interface Animation

Don’t Stay Still. Why Brand Needs an Animated Logo

Motion for Mobile. 20 Creative Concepts of UI Animation

Welcome to check designs by Tubik on Dribbble and Behance; explore the gallery of 2D and 3D art by Tubik Arts on Dribbble

Don't want to miss anything?

Get weekly updates on the newest design stories, case studies and tips right in your mailbox.

More articles

Let’s collaborate

Want to work on the project together? Contact us and let’s discuss it.

contact us