Great UI Animation Examples to Make Your Jaw Drop [+Tips and Freebies]
We encounter UI animations and micro animations every day when we browse through apps and websites. Sometimes, we don’t even notice they’re there, as they briefly and seamlessly direct us through our tasks. User interface and experience strongly rely on these animations as they make bring the data to life and make it digestible and enjoyable. With this in mind, today’s article is all about great in-app UI animations that catch user attention but don’t distract from the mobile application itself. We’ll look at some good practices, the most common types of micro animations; enjoy some inspirational examples, creative ideas and see some free resources for UI animations you can use for your designs.
Great UI Animation Examples Article Overview:
Animation supports the essence of actual and real interaction and makes users satisfied and encouraged to use the service again. However, it’s much more than just beautiful decor, it has to be a functional element with a clear purpose. In order to achieve that, designers use UI animations to show users when a certain action is in progress, done, or simply point to the key features first. Good animations are fluid and help visualize the change in a certain state of a system while providing users a sense of direct interaction. So, let’s see some good examples of UI animations that work!
1. UI Animations Examples
Let’s have a look at some of the best UI animations examples and creative concepts I managed to find and gather from over the web. In this section, we can enjoy a sweet collection of animations designed for apps and websites by amazing and creative designers who demonstrate how far can you go when creating great UI.
We’ll start with a nice and sweet navigation animation for Automotive HMI Concept Design by 09 UI. The button triggers a bouncing menu screen with all the options.
Interactive Calendar UI
Calendar UI interaction animation by Daniel Tan and Daphnie Loong where illustration changes accordingly to match the mood of the month.
Here’s a fun and welcoming onboarding to get the user started. It’s for Classmo – Virtual Classroom UI/UX by Daniel Tan and Daphnie Loong and shows a very sweet engaging animation for children to choose an avatar, their age, and signing in.
Animated Experience in 3D
Since this is a preview of a 3D illustration kit, we can see a lot of interactions happening. Very engaging example by Tran Mau Tri Tam for UI8.
Mobile App Motion Design
This is a concept for a flower shop app with a fully animated user experience. Design and UI animations by Outcrowd.
Event Management Interaction
Here we have an example of UI animation of adding co-workers to an event in an event management app by Cuberto.
Dashboard UI Animations
User experience is the top priority when it comes to creating user dashboards. In this example by Layo, we have a dashboard concept for Flick – a tool that enables tracking sales performance, cycle lengths, and sales funnels with smooth interactive UI animations.
Here’s an excellent example of quick and engaging website loading animation by Barthelemy Chauvet. It starts with a quick logo animation, transitions into the home screen, and loads the navigation.
Video Reveal Transition
This is an excellent example of a creative video experience. When the user clicks the thumbnail, the screen expands and loads the video. Simple and effective example by Gil.
Swipe Screens Animation
Here’s a very lovely veggie shop app design with smooth screen transitions by Toma Li.
Animation on Scroll
How about a very satisfying seamless UI animation experience for a portfolio website? After all, creating an impressive UI /UX portfolio is a hard task as it should introduce and represent the designer and their creative work. Here we have Daniel Tan’s portfolio with tasteful animation on scroll.
An immersive walkthrough into our man-made existential threat with an interactive parallax experience by Daniel Tan and Daphnie Loong. When done right, a parallax website could give a mesmerizing experience and stay memorable for any user who visits it.
Input UI Animation Experience
This is a stylish cosmetics website concept by Nicolas Jey, with a beautifully designed form with smooth input UI animations.
List to Item Gallery UI Animation
Outcrowd designed an app for those who love to take photos on their cameras, quickly upload them to their smartphone, and share them with everyone. It’s a great example of list-to-item interaction.
2. 7 Good Practices for UI Animation Design
In order to ensure that your animation improves the user experience and not just the visuals, there are a few best practices that will give you a better idea of how to do it right.
💨 Pacing: Appropriate transition time can be crucial. For example, if your animation is too slow, it might bore your users, while if it’s too fast and abrupt, it may be confusing.
🧘 Easing: According to Val Head, author of Designing Interface Animation, easing is what makes an animated object change speed over the course of an animation. In the real world, objects accelerate into their motion and slow down before coming to a stop.
🎯 Functionality: Every UI animation should be justified and have a goal. This means it should help the user achieve the goal and highlight the outcome.
🤫 Subtlety: The best kind of UI animation is the one that happens so naturally, the users barely notice it. These subtle interactions make the process smooth but don’t distract the users from the experience.
🧭 Direction: Some elements are meant to direct the user’s attention to a certain area. For example, animated arrows or objects weighted through contrast colors or sizes can make the user focus on something specific.
📦 Predictability: Thinking outside the box doesn’t appear to actions and interactions. Let your micro animations do exactly what the users expect from them. For example, the loading bar should load from left to right.
⚖️ Balance: Don’t animate all the things. If you have too many moving elements, parallaxes, flashy transitions, it may overwhelm the user.
3. Types of In-App UI Animations
In this section, we’ll have a look at a few of the most common and popular UI animations within an app. These are the type of interactions you see almost everywhere in your apps in one shape or form. Very discrete and seamless yet drastically improve mobile app user experience. Such UI almost obligatory micro animations are pull-to-refresh, function switch, toggle animation, tab animation, loading animation, and more.
Pull-to-Refresh UI Animation
The pull-to-refresh pattern allows users to swipe down a list of data in order to retrieve new data. This is a very natural pattern for content feeds and inbox messages, and it gives room for UI UX designers to experiment and create awesome animations. When done right, such animations help users follow the motion of the element and understand the relation between the two UI states. In this example by Guido Rosso for Rive, we see a very creative concept for a pull-to-refresh with a cool loading animation of the moon orbiting around the Earth.
Function Switch UI Animation
A great way to show your users that an element changes when they interact with it, is to visualize it with a function change animation. This type of app UI animation shows exactly how the function of an element can change and usually features buttons that trigger that change. In this example by Serhii Hanushchak for Yalantis, we see the transition between two states of the data, triggered by a button from a grid to a list view.
Navigation UI Animation
Navigation can become the most important part of the UI, especially in apps with more complex structures. It should always be easy to find and intuitive and to give easy access to hidden in-app elements. For example, in this navigation animation concept by Dawid Pietrasiak for Netguru, we have an expandable sidebar with an animated tooltip helping users understand certain functionality.
Loading UI Animation
Progress animations for loading make things much easier for users when they need to wait to access certain screens or features. Website and app pre-loaders serve as a reassurance that the process is moving forward. Besides, they also make the process of waiting more pleasant and interactive. For example, users can enjoy a cute monitor character dancing, just like in this loading animation concept by Gregory Riaguzov.
Notifications UI Animation
What better way to attract your user’s attention to an update than pushing a notification? Actually, there is. An animated notification. It can take many forms, from a message, sliding on the screen to something small and simple, yet instantly noticeable. Here we have an example by Maria for CXDojo of a very tasteful way to gain the user’s attention that there’s a new notification: animated icon.
You can turn literally every single interaction into a cool animation. In cases where there’s nothing else animated on screen, you can even put a nice animation to a toggle button, like in this example by Mauricio Bucardo for enabling airplane mode.
Interactive Sign In UI Animation
Sign in and Sign Up are the least favorite part of app or website interaction for users. So why not making it more engaging and interesting? With this being said, here’s a great example by Samuel Oktavianus for an interactive Sing In experience with lovely UI animation.
Form UI Animation
This is a perfect example of micro animation. Form animations are barely visible and seamlessly improve the user experience when filling up the fields. In this case, as you can see in the example by Emil Samojło for XTB, when the user clicks to type their website URL, the field expands a little bit, its frame changes color, and the requirement’s font decreases.
Another popular UI animation is the tab animation. Switching between different tabs gives room for a lot of creativity. In this example by Dannniel for Marcato Studio, the designer goes further to animate the entire transition between the different screens in a very clever and artistic way. It gives the impression that each screen is a side of a rotating box made of jelly. Because why not?
Scroll and Select Animation
Scroll UI animation is every animation where scrolling triggers changes in the design. In this case, Cuberto shows a scroll and select tab animation where the header and navigation shrink to give more room for the schedule option to scroll through. Selecting a vacant slot triggers the option to pop and brings in an action button.
List to Item UI Animation
Of course, there are countless UI animations types, so this isn’t the last of them. However, for this list of the most popular types of micro animations, I’ll end with a list-to-item UI animation. This is the transition between the screen with a list of items and the screen that shows details for the item the user selects from the list. In this example, Pixians shows an animation where the user selects a jam and gets directed to a screen with more info about the product and the option to add it to their cart.
4. Free Resources for UI Animations
Now when I have you all hyped up with these great examples, you might wish to add your own interactions to your projects. Don’t worry. If you don’t wish to create UI animations, there are plenty of tools and free libraries that offer free UI animations you can take advantage of. In this section, I will include some free UI micro animations resources you could check out and take the interactions you need for your own app or website.
Free Drop Down Navigation UI Animation Set
Here’s a free collection of animated dropdowns on hover that can make your navigation look more engaging. Just download the source code and enjoy.Go To Download Source
Free Input UI Animation Set by FX Ground
Again by FXG, some jiggly-wiggly form elements that make filling forms less boring and more interactive.
You can also check FX Ground for more types of animations, CSS loaders, form elements, and more freebies.Go To Download Source
Free UI Elements for Adobe XD by Bometon Lucas
These UI elements for Adobe XD feature auto-animate practices and you can download them for free from the creator’s Behance page.Go To Free Download
Free Auto-Animate UI Kit For Adobe xd by Sachin Mittal
Another awesome creator from Behance offers a free auto-animate UI kit with amazing animation options for your mobile apps.Go To Free Download
Free Influencer UI Kit Videos by Zhenya Rynzhuk
This UI kit collaboration with Adobe XD is free and offers an animated videos page, which is essential for a present-day influencer. If you’re working on an influencer’s website, this is a good resource to have in your sleeve.Go To Free Download
Lottiefiles helps you convert your After Effects animation into lightweight JSON-based SVG code or GIFs and also offers a library to get customized lightweight SVG animation code for free. You can also check out the After Effects to Lottie plugin. Definitely worth checking out!Visit Website
UI animations are very important for your design as they almost invisibly perfect the user experience and make your layouts more engaging and appealing. In conclusion, UI Animations enable you to make your design as interactive as it is impressive. Make sure to select one that aligns well with your interface and get creative.
I hope you enjoyed today’s article on UI animations and got inspired to never cease to improve your web and app animations.
In the meantime, why not check for more related insights on web development and web design?