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Interface Animation from the Future

The slides for my talk at FOSDEM 2018

Video recording of the talk will be available soon...


Animation is the future of interface design. It enables us to make interfaces more understandable by offloading processes from the user’s brain to the screen. However, in many cases animations are simply added as transitions between independently designed screens. This can result in animations contradicting each other spatially. I co-wrote an article about why this is a problem, and outlined a solution: Designing semantic components which change over time, and then using these to compose interfaces.

The industry seems to largely agree that this is the way forward, but there are very few interfaces implementing these ideas in a holistic way. I believe the main reason for this is that the current generation of toolkits and layout technologies is built for static layouts with strict hierarchies. This makes it prohibitively difficult to build interfaces where components move fluidly between different states.

I will talk about some of the challenges designing and implementing semantic animation both in prototypes and real-world applications, and give some general guidance on how you can make your applications more semantic.

Further Reading

Motion with Meaning: Semantic Animation in Interface Design by Amin Al Hazwani and myself

The Principles of UX Choreography by Rebecca Ussai Henderson

Transitional Interfaces by Pasquale D’Silva

Spatial Interfaces by Pasquale D’Silva

Material Design Guidelines (section on motion) by Google

Creating Usability with Motion: The UX in Motion Manifesto by Issara Willenskomer


Slides for my FOSDEM 2018 talk about Semantic Animation






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