Designing animation is sculpting time. Timing is critical. If you don’t consider animation timing, you’re not designing animation.

Animation is visual music. Skilled animators employ rhythm, timing, tempo, composition, texture and dynamics.

The year is 2018, interface design tools are finally incorporating animation, but many are missing the mark. They’re naively bolting on animation, instead of giving users handles to control animation timing. Consequently, there’s now a landscape of software tools promoting mushy animation.

There’s a wealth of knowledge embedded in classical animation. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

Sharing this email thread on a public link, for discovery & posterity.

Here’s a twitter thread with some relevant information

Email Thread

To: Pasquale D’Silva

From: Ari Spool, Community Operations Manager

Subject: Fwd: Sup?

Friday, Mar 2, 9:47 AM

Hey, last time you were here, thought we were chatting on good terms — we invited you to submit a proposal for a project and we never heard back on that. …

Is writing a Medium article still a thing? I guess you’re reading this, so yes. Well, anyway, me & Jacob Bijani started a new studio. It’s called Thinko.

What does it do?

I think spatially, and so do you. Can you scratch your left ear without looking? Pick a booger out of your nose, without poking your brain? Remember where you left your keys? Can you type, without looking at your keyboard? Know which pocket your phone is in? Which way is up? Do you know where the bathroom is? Of course you do! We imagine multi-dimensional models in our minds, to help understand the complex world around us. We can also leverage this powerful way of thinking, to process more abstract information.

The best software is an extension of the brain…

In the case of Facebook, it’s sad that the measurable number of engagement, carries more weight than emotional feedback. This Cerebral thinking obliterates any value around Limbic (emotional / empathetic) thinking.

They’ve lured so many people (including myself) into relying on the product, due to immense value provided for general communication. Products like Messenger & Events are magnets used to suck people into a system; to trick users into being ‘consensual’ subjects, primed for manipulation.

Clicks are valued over people having great offline experiences. Every offline experience is a failure. If it doesn’t generate data to sell to advertisers, or government agencies, it’s worthless.

This is depressing, and it sucks that I don’t have the data points to prove it.

Previously, I wrote about the state of Interaction Design tools. It’s pretty piss poor if you ask me. I’ve been penning down endless pages of tool ideas over the years, and I’d like to share some with you.

DISCLAIMER, I’m publishing this in a hurry. I want to start helping people make these tools, instead of just writing and talking about something theoretical. Sorry if this is somewhat scrappy.

My friend Wilson Miner’s tweet reminded me of some ideas I’d been logging.

We really should be borrowing concepts from game & animation tools, to make interfaces. In many 2d &…

The current state of tools is decent, but how they fit together is less than ideal.

Pull up a chair & get your butt cheeks comfortable, because this will be a comprehensive mind explosion.

Animation is really, bloody hard. Furthermore, the idea of using animation in the context of interactive design is really new for many seasoned designers. As I see more people warm up to the concept of Transitional Interfaces, I get excited, but equally frustrated. The tools are still not good enough.

My background in animation gives me the advantage of software tool knowledge, which I’ve learned to transpose over to interface thinking… but most designers don’t come from this background. As a result…

I don't care about my last flurry of saves too much. There are so many tools which save every single “CMD + S” as a revision - which is usually pretty meaningless. Do we really need a snapshot of every single pixel nudge? Seems like a lot of noise to me.

I care about design milestones.

I'm convinced that a great tool for designers is one that allows a designer to sign off on increments. It should also make delivering assets to engineers really very easy.

I recently moved Elepath's design library to github. It's not the most ideal, but…

Designers love to sweat the details. Much time is spent pixel-fucking buttons, form styles, setting type, & getting those icons as sharp as a tack. A+, great job, don't stop you guys.

...but there's little consideration about how it all fits together outside of a static comp. You tap a button and the form just ...appears? You swipe to delete an item and it just vanishes? That’s super weird and un-natural. Nearly nothing in the real world does anything as jarringly as just swapping states. It would feel like a glitch.

Oh, ok sweet. You made some notes — it…

Pasquale D’Silva

Computer Arts, Research & Development:

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