The Magic of Motion in UX Design

Sagar Kumar
4 min readMay 20, 2024

Hey there, Have you ever felt like a website just gets you? Like it’s alive and responding to your every move? Well, chances are, you’ve experienced the wonders of motion in UX design without even realizing it!

Let’s dive into this fascinating world where websites dance, buttons bounce, and menus glide, all to make your online journey smoother and more enjoyable.

before diving into the world of motion design, lets understand motion

What is motion design ?

Okay, picture this as you click on a button, and it smoothly transitions to a different color. Or when you scroll down a page, images fade in, adding a dash of magic to your browsing Or when you book car or bike online, it shows animation of the car coming to you That’s motion in action!

Motion in UX design is like the secret sauce that brings websites to life. It’s those subtle animations, transitions, and effects that guide you through your digital adventure.

Craig Dehner formerly on the human interaction team at Google, said

“ Motion tells stories, Everything in app is a sequence, and motion is your guide. For every button clicked and screen transition, there is a story that follows.”

Some of the most most common example of motion design

  1. Microinteractions: These are small, single-purpose animations that serve a specific function, such as indicating a successful form submission or highlighting interactive elements. For instance, when you ‘like’ a post on a social media platform and the heart icon briefly enlarges with a subtle animation, that’s a microinteraction.
  2. Page Transitions: Smooth transitions between pages or sections can make navigation feel seamless and intuitive. Instead of jumping from one screen to another, animations can create a sense of continuity and flow, enhancing the overall user experience.
  3. Scrolling Effects: Parallax scrolling, where the background moves at a different speed than the foreground, adds depth and dimension to websites. It creates a sense of immersion and can make storytelling more compelling.
  4. Loading Animations: Waiting for a page to load can be frustrating, but a well-designed loading animation can make the experience more bearable. From progress bars to creative illustrations, there are many ways to entertain users during loading times.

Why does motion matter in UX design ?

  1. Engagement Booster: Imagine scrolling through a webpage that’s as static as a rock. Boring, right? But add some motion — like elements sliding into view or buttons gently pulsating — and suddenly, you’re hooked!
  2. Improving Usability: Motion can serve as a visual cue, guiding users through the interface and helping them understand how to interact with different elements. For example, a button that gently expands when hovered over indicates its clickable nature, improving usability and reducing confusion.
  3. Providing Feedback: When users perform an action, such as clicking a button or submitting a form, they expect some form of feedback to confirm that their action was successful. Motion can be used to provide this feedback,
  4. Personality Plus: Just like in real life, motion gives websites personality. A playful bounce here, Create a memorable user experience. Plus, it shows that the folks behind the website care about the little details.

Before you start making things move in your product, think about these simple tips to make sure your animations look smooth and cool:

Do :

Keep it Subtle: Too much motion can overwhelm and distract. Aim for animations that enhance the user experience without stealing the show.

Test, Test, Test: Not all devices and browsers play nice with animations. Make sure your motion design looks and works as intended across different platforms.

Serve a Purpose: Every animation should have a reason for being there. Whether it’s guiding users or adding a touch of flair, make sure it serves the greater good of the user experience.

Don’t:

Overdo It: Flashy animations might seem cool at first, but they can quickly become annoying. Remember, less is often more.

Ignore Performance: Heavy animations can slow down your website, turning users away faster than you can say “loading screen.” Keep things light and snappy for optimal performance.

Forget Accessibility: Not everyone experiences the web in the same way. Make sure your motion design is inclusive and doesn’t create barriers for users with disabilities.

Closing thoughts

Motion is a powerful tool in the UX designer’s arsenal. By incorporating purposeful animations and transitions into interfaces, designers can create more engaging, intuitive, and memorable experiences for users. Whether it’s capturing attention, improving usability, providing feedback, or enhancing engagement, motion plays a vital role in shaping the digital world we interact with every day.

So next time you’re designing a website or app, don’t underestimate the impact of motion — it might just be the key to delighting your users!

Thanks for checking out this blog! I hope you found it interesting and learned something new. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out I’d love to hear from you!

--

--

Sagar Kumar

Namaste! I am a Product Designer specializing in designing Enterprise Software, Mobile Apps, and Web.