Reasons Why Animation Matters in Mobile Apps

Reasons Why Animation Matters in Mobile Apps
02Dec, 2020

If you want to create a compelling app in 2020, it not only has to provide a plethora of functions, but it must also be visually attractive. Users will assume that the quality isn’t there and move over to a different platform if it’s not.

Animation in the user-interface is sometimes called motion design. Instead of presenting users with static pages, you’re giving them something that provides visual feedback when they take specific actions.

Think about how helpful this type of interface is in your personal experience with apps. You like the fact that when you click a button, it reacts to your input graphically. It makes you feel like you’ve done something real. It’s way better than clicking static buttons that don’t acknowledge your existence.

This concept is right at the heart of why animation matters so much in mobile apps. Unlike in cartoons, you’re not trying to tell a story. Instead, you’re finding ways to use animation to help your users better understand the actions they are taking.

If you haven’t yet changed your view of animation, you should. It’s not a gimmick but actually an essential part of the design process. Fundamentally, it’s what users expect. So any app not including it automatically puts itself at a disadvantage versus the competition.

Four Compelling Reasons To Use Animation In Mobile Apps

So what are the core reasons why you’d use animation in mobile apps? Why does it matter?

Gives Users Feedback

Perhaps the most important perk is the fact that it provides users with feedback. It makes them feel as though they have ownership over their onscreen interactions, turning using your app into a more tactile experience.

Think about the difference between buttons that react to you pressing them in an app and those that don’t. With the former, you feel as though the app has received your message. It feels like pushing a physical button. There’s a reality to the experience.

Now compare that to the situation in which the button doesn’t react at all. From a programming perspective, it doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference whether the button reacts. But from the user’s end, it feels different. When they press the button, they don’t know whether the app has received their input or not. And that can feel awkward – especially if there’s a lag.

There are all sorts of ways you can provide users with feedback. We’ve used buttons as an example, but there are other animations at your disposal.

Provide Helpful Transitions

You can also view animations as a kind of “reward” you give your users for carrying out undesirable tasks, such as filling out forms. Instead of finishing one page and loading another, many app developers now include animated transitions to smooth the process and make it more appealing.

Transitions also communicate important informational content. They tell users that something new is about to happen, such as a new page loading.

Transitions are critical during online shopping transactions. You want to avoid situations where the user jerks from one page to another, with substantial lags in between. Preferably, you’d display the animation while everything else loads.

Direct Focus

Lastly, many app developers now use animation tools to direct users’ attention, showing them where to focus next.

Sometimes, it’s not clear where to click next. Having a button wiggle or shake can make this obvious and adds visual interest. You can also do things like automatically skip sections of a page to direct the user to the content they want to consume.

Create An Attractive Aesthetic

If you rely on your app to sell goods and services, the last thing you want is for it to feel flat and lifeless. You need something that fills users with delight.

Animation helps you to achieve this. You can play around with your app’s visual dynamics to create an entirely new kind of experience for your users. Little touches can encourage greater app use and get your current users to recommend your software to their friends.


In conclusion, the importance of animation in app design cannot be understated. It is an essential tool you can use to improve the in-app user experience. Not only does it make the app experience feel real, but it also helps funnel customers towards conversion. For instance, attractive shaking buttons incentivizes users to take the next step if they are in two minds about whether they should buy from you. With animation, you can direct people to the most critical elements on their screen, increasing your conversions.