Designing Interface Animation Book Cover

Designing Interface Animation

Meaningful Motion for User Experience

By Val Head



Buy it from: Amazon Rosenfeld Media

It has never been easier to build animation into our sites and applications. New standards have emerged enabling us to build animations with a few lines of CSS or JavaScript. But as Val points out in this book, this is a relatively new thing for us and we have a lot to learn. Animation right now is still largely considered eye-candy, and it’s treated like that on most projects.

Val’s book is about how we change that. It’s about how we can make animations that are effective, not just pretty to look at. And it’s about how we make sure that animation is giving the serious attention it should be. Far from being merely eye-candy, Val explains how animation can be a powerful tool if applied correctly. Animation can help with brand consistency, storytelling, providing feedback, improving perceived performance and more.

The idea of animation promoting brand consistency, in particular, was interesting to me. People interact with companies through a constellation of experiences today. It’s not always easy to provide consistency across different platforms and systems while also taking advantage of the unique characteristics they have. Consistent animation becomes a way you can subtly make these different experiences still feel familiar.

Throughout the entire book, Val provides practical, real-world advice about how to bring it back to your team and your workflow. She explains techniques like prototyping, sketching, animation style guides without ever dictating one approach over another. Instead, she takes the time to lay out what each tool is good for, and what it’s not. It’s an effective method of teaching. By the time you’ve finished the book, you have more than one person’s opinion—you have a framework for making your own decisions about what will work best for your situation.

Unsurprisingly to anyone who knows me, I particularly enjoyed all the information about how animation plays into perceived performance. I was also happy to see Val dedicated an entire chapter to making sure those animations are accessible and inclusive.

Val is one of a handful of people I know of who are really pushing animation forward on the web. She’s done an incredible amount of work and research around not just designing and building animation online, but doing it effectively. We’re all lucky that she took the time to turn that knowledge into this practical and comprehensive book.