The Psychology of Animation in UI: How Motion Influences User Behavior

Animation in UI

In the digital realm, user interfaces have evolved to incorporate animation, a powerful tool that influences user behavior. Understanding the psychology behind animation is crucial for creating engaging interfaces. The characteristics of animation include capturing attention, encouraging interaction, providing feedback, evoking emotions, enhancing usability, conveying branding elements, facilitating storytelling, guiding attention, aiding spatial awareness, and offering contextual cues.

Creating Delightful Onboarding Experiences with Animated UIs

Animated UIs play a pivotal role in creating delightful onboarding experiences by captivating users’ attention, engaging them emotionally, and establishing a strong connection with the brand’s pivotal role in creating delightful onboarding experiences.

Benefits of Animated Onboarding

Animated onboarding offers several advantages that contribute to a positive user experience. Firstly, animations have the power to captivate users’ attention from the very beginning. Motion attracts the eye and encourages users to explore further, increasing the chances of retaining their interest. Moreover, animations can elicit positive emotions, making users feel more engaged, excited, and connected to the brand. By triggering emotions such as joy, curiosity, or surprise, animated UIs leave a lasting impression and enhance the overall onboarding experience.

Types of Animated Onboarding

There are different approaches to incorporating animation into the onboarding process. Here are three common types:

Introductory Animations Engaging users with visually appealing introductions. These animations can include animated logos, illustrations, or dynamic backgrounds that instantly grab attention and establish a brand’s identity.
Interactive TutorialsGuiding users through key features using animations. By demonstrating how to interact with the app or website through interactive tutorials, users can quickly grasp the functionality and benefits of the product.
Progressive DisclosureGradually revealing information to prevent overwhelming users. Instead of bombarding users with all the features at once, animation can be used to reveal information in a step-by-step manner, ensuring a smoother onboarding process.

Design Considerations

To create effective animated onboarding experiences, designers should keep certain considerations in mind. Consistency is crucial, as animations should align with the overall visual language and branding of the product. Simplicity is also key to ensure ease of understanding, as overly complex animations might confuse or frustrate users. Additionally, timing and duration play a vital role in keeping users engaged. Animations should be well-timed to maintain a good flow and prevent users from becoming impatient.

Case Studies

Let’s take a look at some notable case studies that exemplify successful onboarding experiences with animated UIs:


Duolingo, a language-learning app, utilizes animated characters and engaging interactions to guide users through the onboarding process. The animations create a playful and enjoyable learning experience, encouraging users to continue using the app.


Slack incorporates animations during its onboarding to showcase the app’s collaborative features and demonstrate how users can communicate and share files. These animations simplify the learning curve and enhance the user’s understanding of the platform.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Animation in User Interfaces

Do’s of Animation in User Interfaces

  • Do use animation to provide visual feedback and enhance user understanding.
  • Do create smooth and well-timed animations that flow naturally within the interface.
  • Do consider the context and purpose of the animation to ensure it adds value to the user experience.
  • Do test animations across different devices and platforms to ensure consistency.
  • Do optimize animations for performance to avoid slowing down the interface.

Don’ts of Animation in User Interfaces

  • Don’t overload the interface with excessive or distracting animations.
  • Don’t use animations solely for decorative purposes without providing functional value.
  • Don’t rely on animations as the sole means of conveying critical information; consider alternative methods for accessibility.
  • Don’t overlook the impact of animations on load time and performance; optimize accordingly.
  • Don’t neglect user preferences and settings for disabling or customizing animations if available.

Pros and Cons of Animation UI

Pros of Using Animation in UI

  • Enhances user engagement and interaction.
  • Provides visual cues for intuitive navigation and feedback.
  • Creates a memorable and delightful user experience.
  • Guides users’ attention to important information or actions.
  • Adds a sense of realism and interactivity to the interface.
  • Reinforces branding and strengthens emotional connections.
  • Simplifies complex transitions and interactions.
  • Increases user understanding of the interface’s functionality.
  • Enhances storytelling and narrative elements.
  • Supports the creation of immersive and engaging interfaces.

Cons of Using Animation in UI

  • Can increase the load time and performance overhead.
  • May distract or confuse users if not used sparingly.
  • Potential accessibility issues for users with motion sensitivity or impairments.
  • Inconsistent rendering across different devices and platforms.
  • Adds complexity to the development process.
  • Requires careful optimization to avoid excessive resource usage.
  • Can increase the cognitive load for users with information processing challenges.
  • May lead to higher battery consumption on mobile devices.
  • Potential compatibility issues with older browsers or devices.
  • Overuse or misuse of animation can diminish the overall user experience.


Animation in user interfaces presents a powerful tool for enhancing user experiences by engaging attention, providing intuitive feedback, and creating memorable onboarding experiences. However, careful consideration must be given to performance, accessibility, and cross-platform consistency to ensure a positive impact on user behavior. By understanding the psychology and following best practices, animation can elevate UI design and contribute to a seamless and engaging user experience.

Author Bio:

Amir Waheed is the co-founder & CEO of SEO Toronto Experts. He intends to bring a massive transformation to eCommerce SEO Services.  His team of talented IT professionals knows the secret of getting huge conversions.

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