Motion Design

UX Motion

Motion Guidelines

User Experience

Design Systems

ARTICLE #42

A Guide to Effective Motion Guidelines in Digital Products

Motion Graphic Guidelines & Animations

Motion Design

UX Motion

Motion Guidelines

User Experience

Design Systems

Written by:

7 min read

Updated on: July 3rd, 2024

Toni Hukkanen

Head of Design

Creative Direction, Brand Direction

The digital design community has mainly focused on documenting and systemizing components in design and code. However, one important element often left out of this systemization is motion.

Though motion is a key part of user experience, it is often overlooked in design systems, even if it aligns perfectly with the principles of time savings, repeatability, and UX consistency that underpin them. If motion is excluded from a design system, it weakens its purpose. 

Without predefined motion guidelines, designers are forced to create ad hoc animations, which can lead to inconsistencies and undermine the cohesive user experience that a design system aims to achieve. The lack of integration robs the design team, product, and users of the enhanced depth and interaction that motion brings.

What are Motion Guidelines?

Motion guidelines ensure animations are consistent and high quality across digital products, especially when managing large projects. These guidelines provide clear instructions on how to create and use animations in an effective way. These guidelines can range from a basic overview to detailed specifications considering the complexity and phase of the project.

The purpose of motion guidelines is to help maintain a uniform style across various parts of a product to make animations feel coherent and professional. It also aims to set a benchmark for the quality of animations to meet certain aesthetic and functional standards. Motion guidelines smooth the design and development process to make it easy for teams to implement animations without reinventing the wheel each time.

Motion Guidelines in digital products

Creating a digital product involves a collaborative effort from diverse teams, including product designers, engineers, motion designers, product managers, analysts, and sometimes even external agencies. The motion guidelines are based on language that helps different disciplines collaborate and work smarter. They allow for easy collaboration and communication while building a cohesive experience.

Motion guidelines provide clear instructions and examples to help bridge the gap between motion designers and developers. In this way, developers can easily turn animations into code and make the work consistent across digital products.

What Are Motion Guidelines?

Why are Motion Guidelines important?

Digital products today need to function smoothly across different platforms and devices, such as tablets, smartphones, desktops, and even wearable devices. Motion guidelines play an important role in making animations and interactions consistent and high-quality without considering the platform or screen size.

Motion Guidelines help to scale and adapt motion patterns for different applications and screens. Its standardized elements include duration, easing, and choreography.

Without established motion guidelines, digital products may face inconsistencies, resulting in issues such as brand inconsistency, inaccurate interactions, and a fragmented user experience.

So, motion guidelines are important to support the growth and evolution of digital products to make them cohesive and engaging across all devices and applications.

Why Are Motion Guidelines Important?

How to create effective Motion Guidelines in digital products?

Before creating motion guidelines, there are several factors you need to consider. The first thing is to define who the guidelines are intended for, designers, developers, or agencies. It is important to make the content relevant and understandable to its users.

The next step is to customize the guidelines to fit the current phase of the project, whether ideation, concept development, or detailed design and implementation, to provide appropriate direction and guidance. Then, you need to find the optimal format for presenting guidelines, whether on a user-friendly website, an interactive presentation in Figma, or a PDF document. If you want to create motion guidelines in digital products, follow this step-by-step process.

Understand the role of Motion in UX

Motion design plays a great role in user experience and enhances the usability and overall effectiveness of a digital product. With the right incorporation, motion clarifies interactions by giving prompt visual feedback to ensure users are aware of their actions.

The real-time response reduces user confusion and improves task completion by guiding users through different steps in the process. Consistency in the application of motion can create a coherent and predictable user experience. For example, if sliding animations are consistently used to transition between screens, users will expect this behavior and feel more comfortable using the product when they know what to anticipate from their interactions.

Establish Motion Principles

It is important to find the right balance for using motion in UX design to maintain the consistency of the product while promoting innovation. Ambiguous principles can cause inconsistency, while rigid guidelines can stifle creativity and hinder new patterns. 

For example, they can be used in areas that require stronger affordances and action feedback to guide users. Additionally, motion can address dropoff points during onboarding by making the process smoother and more engaging. It is also beneficial to incorporate motion in navigation, particularly in places where users might feel disoriented, to provide clarity and ease of movement throughout the interface.

Scaling teams commonly use motion principles guided by principles of Material Design, which categorize motion into three key principles.

Informative

Spatial and hierarchical relationships are shown between elements. Motion also shows which actions are available and what will happen after taking that action.

Focused

In this principle, motion focuses on what is important without creating unnecessary distractions.

Expressive

Motions celebrate moments in user journeys. They add character to common interactions and express the brand's personality and style.

These principles can be applied in four main contexts: hierarchy, feedback, status, and character animation.

According to IBM, motion can be described as productive or expressive. The productive motion focuses mainly on clarity and efficiency, such as quick open/close actions for toggles or modals that provide fast and reliable user feedback. Expressive motion is used for more detailed, engaging animations, such as fancy effects or transitions, which add personality to the user experience.

So, motion in UX design can be categorized into two approaches: motion as delight and motion as usability. The right guiding principles empower teams to be both creative and consistent.

Define the library of Motion Building Blocks

The foundation of motion in digital products involves the relationship between object, time, and effect. Once these principles are set, teams can create a library of motion building blocks.

Duration

The concept of scales in the design system allows for a diversity of choice within bounds. Motion scales are defined by assigning names to different timing categories, such as "Extra fast" (t1), "Fast" (t2), "Normal" (t3), "Slow" (t4), and "Extra Slow" (t5). These scales guide the duration and ease of animations based on object characteristics.

It is also possible to create a formula for the dynamic duration that includes components, time, distance traveled, ease, or even complexity of animation. The useful approaches are object-based, size and distance, and complexity of animation.

Easing

Natural rests, acceleration, and deceleration are ways of easing motion and adding life to it. This is beneficial for enhancing a brand's personality, and each style creates different vibes. For example, an invoicing tool for lawyers might use balanced, quick movements, while a social media app might prefer playful movements.

To achieve consistency, it is better to document 2 to 3 types of easing curves, such as default ease, ease in, and ease out. Another strategy to base ease on components is to use productive easing for quick, functional linear movements and expressive easing for delightful, emotion-driven movements.

Expressive timing makes the most sense for animate-in, while productive timing makes sense for animate-out. These are often present in toggle switches, modal pop-ups, transitions, and cards.

Effects

Effects are also the foundational building blocks of motion guidelines, distinguishing a component from being static. After effects are applied to components, they become interactive systems with a start and end state.

You can systematize these effects using a naming convention that describes them in bundles or animate-in and animate-out states.

Choreography

Choreography involves multiple objects in motion at the same time during a transition. It focuses on a user during a transitional state, provides spatial context, and gives personality and delight.

When creating motion guidelines, you can use different approaches to suit the needs of your product.

  • Complex and simple: It is where containers move multiple content blocks together or move only a few objects at a time to keep animations straightforward.

  • Principle-Based: It focuses users on an object to show navigation or spatial context, such as where to find a button.

  • Narrative: It is the stage where the user journey makes choreography more complex.

  • Accessibility: It offers settings to reduce motion intensity or keep motion to containers instead of elements.

Document Motion Patterns

Motion patterns should be documented with detailed examples illustrating their application in different contexts. It makes the animations used consistent and effective across various parts of the product. These contexts include, navigation, form interactions, and notifications.

  • Navigation: Sliding transition between pages

  • Form Interactions: Smooth focus animations for form fields

  • Notifications: Fade in and slide up for pop-up messages

Providing code snippets or links to resources helps developers implement the documented motion patterns accurately.

You can create comprehensive motion guidelines by documenting motion patterns and providing code samples and resources to support consistent, inclusive, and effective motion design across your product.

Create prototypes

You can create prototypes to develop and refine motion guidelines for digital products. It allows visualization and testing of animations in a realistic context to ensure an effective user experience. You can approach creating prototypes for motion guidelines with the following:

Interactive demos

They provide a tangible way to see motion guidelines in action, helping designers and developers understand how animations should behave in the real world. The important tools to create prototypes include Figma, Adobe XD, and Principle.

User testing

It ensures that motion guidelines are technically sound, user-friendly, and effective in real-world use.

Develop and integrate Motion Assets

Motion assets are based on animations, transitions, and interactions that increase the functionality and appeal of the interface. You can achieve this by paying attention to creating reusable motion components and ensuring consistent implementation across various platforms and devices.

  • Identify common types of animations needed.

  • Design components that are modular and can be easily reused in various contexts.

  • Develop a central library to store all motion components to make them easily accessible to designers and developers.

  • Provide a guide on how to integrate these components into different parts of the product.

  • Ensure consistent implementation across platforms.

Review and iterate

Once motion guidelines are created, they should be regularly updated and refined to maintain their relevance and effectiveness. You can do this by continuously gathering user feedback and staying up to date with evolving design trends. For better results, encourage collaborative feedback from developers, designers, and users to identify areas for improvement.

Train your team

For effective implementation, provide comprehensive training and ongoing support for your team. Conduct workshops and training sessions to familiarize team members with motion guidelines and demonstrate how to apply them in their projects.

How to Create Effective Motion Guidelines in Digital Products?

Final Thoughts

If you want to make motion guidelines in digital products successful, initiate early collaboration between motion designers and developers. This will ensure that both teams are aligned on implementing animations. The early dialogue will help motion designers understand technical requirements and the types of files needed to create animations and guidelines that are visually appealing and practical for developers to integrate. So, this collaborative environment can smooth the hand-off process while reducing misunderstandings and ensuring a cohesive, user-friendly product.

Final Thoughts
ARTICLE #42

Motion Design

UX Motion

Motion Guidelines

User Experience

Design Systems

ARTICLE #42

A Guide to Effective Motion Guidelines in Digital Products

Motion Graphic Guidelines & Animations

Motion Design

UX Motion

Motion Guidelines

User Experience

Design Systems

Written by:

7 min read

Updated on: July 3rd, 2024

Toni Hukkanen

Head of Design

Creative Direction, Brand Direction

The digital design community has mainly focused on documenting and systemizing components in design and code. However, one important element often left out of this systemization is motion.

Though motion is a key part of user experience, it is often overlooked in design systems, even if it aligns perfectly with the principles of time savings, repeatability, and UX consistency that underpin them. If motion is excluded from a design system, it weakens its purpose. 

Without predefined motion guidelines, designers are forced to create ad hoc animations, which can lead to inconsistencies and undermine the cohesive user experience that a design system aims to achieve. The lack of integration robs the design team, product, and users of the enhanced depth and interaction that motion brings.

What are Motion Guidelines?

Motion guidelines ensure animations are consistent and high quality across digital products, especially when managing large projects. These guidelines provide clear instructions on how to create and use animations in an effective way. These guidelines can range from a basic overview to detailed specifications considering the complexity and phase of the project.

The purpose of motion guidelines is to help maintain a uniform style across various parts of a product to make animations feel coherent and professional. It also aims to set a benchmark for the quality of animations to meet certain aesthetic and functional standards. Motion guidelines smooth the design and development process to make it easy for teams to implement animations without reinventing the wheel each time.

Motion Guidelines in digital products

Creating a digital product involves a collaborative effort from diverse teams, including product designers, engineers, motion designers, product managers, analysts, and sometimes even external agencies. The motion guidelines are based on language that helps different disciplines collaborate and work smarter. They allow for easy collaboration and communication while building a cohesive experience.

Motion guidelines provide clear instructions and examples to help bridge the gap between motion designers and developers. In this way, developers can easily turn animations into code and make the work consistent across digital products.

What Are Motion Guidelines?

Why are Motion Guidelines important?

Digital products today need to function smoothly across different platforms and devices, such as tablets, smartphones, desktops, and even wearable devices. Motion guidelines play an important role in making animations and interactions consistent and high-quality without considering the platform or screen size.

Motion Guidelines help to scale and adapt motion patterns for different applications and screens. Its standardized elements include duration, easing, and choreography.

Without established motion guidelines, digital products may face inconsistencies, resulting in issues such as brand inconsistency, inaccurate interactions, and a fragmented user experience.

So, motion guidelines are important to support the growth and evolution of digital products to make them cohesive and engaging across all devices and applications.

Why Are Motion Guidelines Important?

How to create effective Motion Guidelines in digital products?

Before creating motion guidelines, there are several factors you need to consider. The first thing is to define who the guidelines are intended for, designers, developers, or agencies. It is important to make the content relevant and understandable to its users.

The next step is to customize the guidelines to fit the current phase of the project, whether ideation, concept development, or detailed design and implementation, to provide appropriate direction and guidance. Then, you need to find the optimal format for presenting guidelines, whether on a user-friendly website, an interactive presentation in Figma, or a PDF document. If you want to create motion guidelines in digital products, follow this step-by-step process.

Understand the role of Motion in UX

Motion design plays a great role in user experience and enhances the usability and overall effectiveness of a digital product. With the right incorporation, motion clarifies interactions by giving prompt visual feedback to ensure users are aware of their actions.

The real-time response reduces user confusion and improves task completion by guiding users through different steps in the process. Consistency in the application of motion can create a coherent and predictable user experience. For example, if sliding animations are consistently used to transition between screens, users will expect this behavior and feel more comfortable using the product when they know what to anticipate from their interactions.

Establish Motion Principles

It is important to find the right balance for using motion in UX design to maintain the consistency of the product while promoting innovation. Ambiguous principles can cause inconsistency, while rigid guidelines can stifle creativity and hinder new patterns. 

For example, they can be used in areas that require stronger affordances and action feedback to guide users. Additionally, motion can address dropoff points during onboarding by making the process smoother and more engaging. It is also beneficial to incorporate motion in navigation, particularly in places where users might feel disoriented, to provide clarity and ease of movement throughout the interface.

Scaling teams commonly use motion principles guided by principles of Material Design, which categorize motion into three key principles.

Informative

Spatial and hierarchical relationships are shown between elements. Motion also shows which actions are available and what will happen after taking that action.

Focused

In this principle, motion focuses on what is important without creating unnecessary distractions.

Expressive

Motions celebrate moments in user journeys. They add character to common interactions and express the brand's personality and style.

These principles can be applied in four main contexts: hierarchy, feedback, status, and character animation.

According to IBM, motion can be described as productive or expressive. The productive motion focuses mainly on clarity and efficiency, such as quick open/close actions for toggles or modals that provide fast and reliable user feedback. Expressive motion is used for more detailed, engaging animations, such as fancy effects or transitions, which add personality to the user experience.

So, motion in UX design can be categorized into two approaches: motion as delight and motion as usability. The right guiding principles empower teams to be both creative and consistent.

Define the library of Motion Building Blocks

The foundation of motion in digital products involves the relationship between object, time, and effect. Once these principles are set, teams can create a library of motion building blocks.

Duration

The concept of scales in the design system allows for a diversity of choice within bounds. Motion scales are defined by assigning names to different timing categories, such as "Extra fast" (t1), "Fast" (t2), "Normal" (t3), "Slow" (t4), and "Extra Slow" (t5). These scales guide the duration and ease of animations based on object characteristics.

It is also possible to create a formula for the dynamic duration that includes components, time, distance traveled, ease, or even complexity of animation. The useful approaches are object-based, size and distance, and complexity of animation.

Easing

Natural rests, acceleration, and deceleration are ways of easing motion and adding life to it. This is beneficial for enhancing a brand's personality, and each style creates different vibes. For example, an invoicing tool for lawyers might use balanced, quick movements, while a social media app might prefer playful movements.

To achieve consistency, it is better to document 2 to 3 types of easing curves, such as default ease, ease in, and ease out. Another strategy to base ease on components is to use productive easing for quick, functional linear movements and expressive easing for delightful, emotion-driven movements.

Expressive timing makes the most sense for animate-in, while productive timing makes sense for animate-out. These are often present in toggle switches, modal pop-ups, transitions, and cards.

Effects

Effects are also the foundational building blocks of motion guidelines, distinguishing a component from being static. After effects are applied to components, they become interactive systems with a start and end state.

You can systematize these effects using a naming convention that describes them in bundles or animate-in and animate-out states.

Choreography

Choreography involves multiple objects in motion at the same time during a transition. It focuses on a user during a transitional state, provides spatial context, and gives personality and delight.

When creating motion guidelines, you can use different approaches to suit the needs of your product.

  • Complex and simple: It is where containers move multiple content blocks together or move only a few objects at a time to keep animations straightforward.

  • Principle-Based: It focuses users on an object to show navigation or spatial context, such as where to find a button.

  • Narrative: It is the stage where the user journey makes choreography more complex.

  • Accessibility: It offers settings to reduce motion intensity or keep motion to containers instead of elements.

Document Motion Patterns

Motion patterns should be documented with detailed examples illustrating their application in different contexts. It makes the animations used consistent and effective across various parts of the product. These contexts include, navigation, form interactions, and notifications.

  • Navigation: Sliding transition between pages

  • Form Interactions: Smooth focus animations for form fields

  • Notifications: Fade in and slide up for pop-up messages

Providing code snippets or links to resources helps developers implement the documented motion patterns accurately.

You can create comprehensive motion guidelines by documenting motion patterns and providing code samples and resources to support consistent, inclusive, and effective motion design across your product.

Create prototypes

You can create prototypes to develop and refine motion guidelines for digital products. It allows visualization and testing of animations in a realistic context to ensure an effective user experience. You can approach creating prototypes for motion guidelines with the following:

Interactive demos

They provide a tangible way to see motion guidelines in action, helping designers and developers understand how animations should behave in the real world. The important tools to create prototypes include Figma, Adobe XD, and Principle.

User testing

It ensures that motion guidelines are technically sound, user-friendly, and effective in real-world use.

Develop and integrate Motion Assets

Motion assets are based on animations, transitions, and interactions that increase the functionality and appeal of the interface. You can achieve this by paying attention to creating reusable motion components and ensuring consistent implementation across various platforms and devices.

  • Identify common types of animations needed.

  • Design components that are modular and can be easily reused in various contexts.

  • Develop a central library to store all motion components to make them easily accessible to designers and developers.

  • Provide a guide on how to integrate these components into different parts of the product.

  • Ensure consistent implementation across platforms.

Review and iterate

Once motion guidelines are created, they should be regularly updated and refined to maintain their relevance and effectiveness. You can do this by continuously gathering user feedback and staying up to date with evolving design trends. For better results, encourage collaborative feedback from developers, designers, and users to identify areas for improvement.

Train your team

For effective implementation, provide comprehensive training and ongoing support for your team. Conduct workshops and training sessions to familiarize team members with motion guidelines and demonstrate how to apply them in their projects.

How to Create Effective Motion Guidelines in Digital Products?

Final Thoughts

If you want to make motion guidelines in digital products successful, initiate early collaboration between motion designers and developers. This will ensure that both teams are aligned on implementing animations. The early dialogue will help motion designers understand technical requirements and the types of files needed to create animations and guidelines that are visually appealing and practical for developers to integrate. So, this collaborative environment can smooth the hand-off process while reducing misunderstandings and ensuring a cohesive, user-friendly product.

Final Thoughts
ARTICLE #42

Motion Design

UX Motion

Motion Guidelines

User Experience

Design Systems

ARTICLE #42

A Guide to Effective Motion Guidelines in Digital Products

Motion Graphic Guidelines & Animations

Motion Design

UX Motion

Motion Guidelines

User Experience

Design Systems

Written by:

7 min read

Updated on: July 3rd, 2024

Toni Hukkanen

Head of Design

Creative Direction, Brand Direction

The digital design community has mainly focused on documenting and systemizing components in design and code. However, one important element often left out of this systemization is motion.

Though motion is a key part of user experience, it is often overlooked in design systems, even if it aligns perfectly with the principles of time savings, repeatability, and UX consistency that underpin them. If motion is excluded from a design system, it weakens its purpose. 

Without predefined motion guidelines, designers are forced to create ad hoc animations, which can lead to inconsistencies and undermine the cohesive user experience that a design system aims to achieve. The lack of integration robs the design team, product, and users of the enhanced depth and interaction that motion brings.

What are Motion Guidelines?

Motion guidelines ensure animations are consistent and high quality across digital products, especially when managing large projects. These guidelines provide clear instructions on how to create and use animations in an effective way. These guidelines can range from a basic overview to detailed specifications considering the complexity and phase of the project.

The purpose of motion guidelines is to help maintain a uniform style across various parts of a product to make animations feel coherent and professional. It also aims to set a benchmark for the quality of animations to meet certain aesthetic and functional standards. Motion guidelines smooth the design and development process to make it easy for teams to implement animations without reinventing the wheel each time.

Motion Guidelines in digital products

Creating a digital product involves a collaborative effort from diverse teams, including product designers, engineers, motion designers, product managers, analysts, and sometimes even external agencies. The motion guidelines are based on language that helps different disciplines collaborate and work smarter. They allow for easy collaboration and communication while building a cohesive experience.

Motion guidelines provide clear instructions and examples to help bridge the gap between motion designers and developers. In this way, developers can easily turn animations into code and make the work consistent across digital products.

What Are Motion Guidelines?

Why are Motion Guidelines important?

Digital products today need to function smoothly across different platforms and devices, such as tablets, smartphones, desktops, and even wearable devices. Motion guidelines play an important role in making animations and interactions consistent and high-quality without considering the platform or screen size.

Motion Guidelines help to scale and adapt motion patterns for different applications and screens. Its standardized elements include duration, easing, and choreography.

Without established motion guidelines, digital products may face inconsistencies, resulting in issues such as brand inconsistency, inaccurate interactions, and a fragmented user experience.

So, motion guidelines are important to support the growth and evolution of digital products to make them cohesive and engaging across all devices and applications.

Why Are Motion Guidelines Important?

How to create effective Motion Guidelines in digital products?

Before creating motion guidelines, there are several factors you need to consider. The first thing is to define who the guidelines are intended for, designers, developers, or agencies. It is important to make the content relevant and understandable to its users.

The next step is to customize the guidelines to fit the current phase of the project, whether ideation, concept development, or detailed design and implementation, to provide appropriate direction and guidance. Then, you need to find the optimal format for presenting guidelines, whether on a user-friendly website, an interactive presentation in Figma, or a PDF document. If you want to create motion guidelines in digital products, follow this step-by-step process.

Understand the role of Motion in UX

Motion design plays a great role in user experience and enhances the usability and overall effectiveness of a digital product. With the right incorporation, motion clarifies interactions by giving prompt visual feedback to ensure users are aware of their actions.

The real-time response reduces user confusion and improves task completion by guiding users through different steps in the process. Consistency in the application of motion can create a coherent and predictable user experience. For example, if sliding animations are consistently used to transition between screens, users will expect this behavior and feel more comfortable using the product when they know what to anticipate from their interactions.

Establish Motion Principles

It is important to find the right balance for using motion in UX design to maintain the consistency of the product while promoting innovation. Ambiguous principles can cause inconsistency, while rigid guidelines can stifle creativity and hinder new patterns. 

For example, they can be used in areas that require stronger affordances and action feedback to guide users. Additionally, motion can address dropoff points during onboarding by making the process smoother and more engaging. It is also beneficial to incorporate motion in navigation, particularly in places where users might feel disoriented, to provide clarity and ease of movement throughout the interface.

Scaling teams commonly use motion principles guided by principles of Material Design, which categorize motion into three key principles.

Informative

Spatial and hierarchical relationships are shown between elements. Motion also shows which actions are available and what will happen after taking that action.

Focused

In this principle, motion focuses on what is important without creating unnecessary distractions.

Expressive

Motions celebrate moments in user journeys. They add character to common interactions and express the brand's personality and style.

These principles can be applied in four main contexts: hierarchy, feedback, status, and character animation.

According to IBM, motion can be described as productive or expressive. The productive motion focuses mainly on clarity and efficiency, such as quick open/close actions for toggles or modals that provide fast and reliable user feedback. Expressive motion is used for more detailed, engaging animations, such as fancy effects or transitions, which add personality to the user experience.

So, motion in UX design can be categorized into two approaches: motion as delight and motion as usability. The right guiding principles empower teams to be both creative and consistent.

Define the library of Motion Building Blocks

The foundation of motion in digital products involves the relationship between object, time, and effect. Once these principles are set, teams can create a library of motion building blocks.

Duration

The concept of scales in the design system allows for a diversity of choice within bounds. Motion scales are defined by assigning names to different timing categories, such as "Extra fast" (t1), "Fast" (t2), "Normal" (t3), "Slow" (t4), and "Extra Slow" (t5). These scales guide the duration and ease of animations based on object characteristics.

It is also possible to create a formula for the dynamic duration that includes components, time, distance traveled, ease, or even complexity of animation. The useful approaches are object-based, size and distance, and complexity of animation.

Easing

Natural rests, acceleration, and deceleration are ways of easing motion and adding life to it. This is beneficial for enhancing a brand's personality, and each style creates different vibes. For example, an invoicing tool for lawyers might use balanced, quick movements, while a social media app might prefer playful movements.

To achieve consistency, it is better to document 2 to 3 types of easing curves, such as default ease, ease in, and ease out. Another strategy to base ease on components is to use productive easing for quick, functional linear movements and expressive easing for delightful, emotion-driven movements.

Expressive timing makes the most sense for animate-in, while productive timing makes sense for animate-out. These are often present in toggle switches, modal pop-ups, transitions, and cards.

Effects

Effects are also the foundational building blocks of motion guidelines, distinguishing a component from being static. After effects are applied to components, they become interactive systems with a start and end state.

You can systematize these effects using a naming convention that describes them in bundles or animate-in and animate-out states.

Choreography

Choreography involves multiple objects in motion at the same time during a transition. It focuses on a user during a transitional state, provides spatial context, and gives personality and delight.

When creating motion guidelines, you can use different approaches to suit the needs of your product.

  • Complex and simple: It is where containers move multiple content blocks together or move only a few objects at a time to keep animations straightforward.

  • Principle-Based: It focuses users on an object to show navigation or spatial context, such as where to find a button.

  • Narrative: It is the stage where the user journey makes choreography more complex.

  • Accessibility: It offers settings to reduce motion intensity or keep motion to containers instead of elements.

Document Motion Patterns

Motion patterns should be documented with detailed examples illustrating their application in different contexts. It makes the animations used consistent and effective across various parts of the product. These contexts include, navigation, form interactions, and notifications.

  • Navigation: Sliding transition between pages

  • Form Interactions: Smooth focus animations for form fields

  • Notifications: Fade in and slide up for pop-up messages

Providing code snippets or links to resources helps developers implement the documented motion patterns accurately.

You can create comprehensive motion guidelines by documenting motion patterns and providing code samples and resources to support consistent, inclusive, and effective motion design across your product.

Create prototypes

You can create prototypes to develop and refine motion guidelines for digital products. It allows visualization and testing of animations in a realistic context to ensure an effective user experience. You can approach creating prototypes for motion guidelines with the following:

Interactive demos

They provide a tangible way to see motion guidelines in action, helping designers and developers understand how animations should behave in the real world. The important tools to create prototypes include Figma, Adobe XD, and Principle.

User testing

It ensures that motion guidelines are technically sound, user-friendly, and effective in real-world use.

Develop and integrate Motion Assets

Motion assets are based on animations, transitions, and interactions that increase the functionality and appeal of the interface. You can achieve this by paying attention to creating reusable motion components and ensuring consistent implementation across various platforms and devices.

  • Identify common types of animations needed.

  • Design components that are modular and can be easily reused in various contexts.

  • Develop a central library to store all motion components to make them easily accessible to designers and developers.

  • Provide a guide on how to integrate these components into different parts of the product.

  • Ensure consistent implementation across platforms.

Review and iterate

Once motion guidelines are created, they should be regularly updated and refined to maintain their relevance and effectiveness. You can do this by continuously gathering user feedback and staying up to date with evolving design trends. For better results, encourage collaborative feedback from developers, designers, and users to identify areas for improvement.

Train your team

For effective implementation, provide comprehensive training and ongoing support for your team. Conduct workshops and training sessions to familiarize team members with motion guidelines and demonstrate how to apply them in their projects.

How to Create Effective Motion Guidelines in Digital Products?

Final Thoughts

If you want to make motion guidelines in digital products successful, initiate early collaboration between motion designers and developers. This will ensure that both teams are aligned on implementing animations. The early dialogue will help motion designers understand technical requirements and the types of files needed to create animations and guidelines that are visually appealing and practical for developers to integrate. So, this collaborative environment can smooth the hand-off process while reducing misunderstandings and ensuring a cohesive, user-friendly product.

Final Thoughts
ARTICLE #42

Work with us

Click to copy

work@for.co

Copyright © 2024 FOR®

Cookie Settings

  • FOR® Brand. FOR® Future.

Work with us

Click to copy

work@for.co

Copyright © 2024 FOR®

Cookie Settings

  • FOR® Brand. FOR® Future.

Work with us

Click to copy

work@for.co

Copyright © 2024 FOR®

Cookie Settings