It’s Just a Transition

While chatting with some folks after a recent talk, one of the guys I was talking with brought this up:

You lost me when you brought up Apple’s menu example. It’s just a menu; it’s just a transition. Does it really matter how it moves? I think you’re being too picky.*

It’s a good question. Does it matter? The answer is a bit subjective! Just like how people can still use ugly things, anything that moves but doesn’t get in the way is still totally useable. But, when it comes to UI design, I like to think of animations and transitions as an opportunity to communicate. An opportunity to add to your message, support your concept, or even add a little bit of fun or surprise if that fits. An opportunity to add that little extra touch if you want to.

Of course, you don’t have to take every opportunity, and it’s not the only opportunity you have to communicate those details. But it’s one of them. And when it’s done well, it makes for some pretty darn good design.

*{Full Backstory}: He was referencing my comment that the product slider on Apple’s site seems off-brand with it’s super snappy bounce. I compared it to Androidify, which has similar snappiness in a more concept-fitting way. Not wrong, but it just seems a bit odd. (Also, I’m totally paraphrasing his comment, as you probably guessed.)

Shameless self promotion: If you’re interested in learning more about working with animations and transitions and happen to be on the west coast. I’m teaching an Interlink workshop in Vancouver all about it!