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“Delight” is a word that we’re hearing and using more often to describe pleasurable moments in our products. Delight is the magic that makes us fall in love with a product. It’s a core element to strive for when designing. When it comes to providing pleasure or delight in our websites and apps, animations contribute a lot.

Why delightful animation is important?

Digital design plays a crucial role in how customers experience a product. Modern design is highly focussed on usability because usability allows people to easily accomplish their goals. However, designing for the user experience has a lot more to it than making a usable product. Good design is pleasurable and seductive. Good design is delightful. “At this point in experience design’s evolution, satisfaction ought to be the norm, and delight ought to be the goal,” says Stephen Anderson. Animations can help you achieve this goal.

When use delightful animation

Just like any other design element animation should contribute the user flow. Delightful animations are pleasurable for the user without detracting from the usability of the app. There are two cases when implementing delightful animation into your digital designs can strengthen UX:
Engaging and entertaining. Entertaining animation draws strong attention to our products by creating a strong first impression. It can make our products more memorable and more shareable.
Baking emotion in design. Showing the human side of your business or product can be a very powerful way for your audience to identify and empathise with you. The aim of the emotional design is to create happiness. You want people to feel happy when they use your product.

Let’s look at a few ways animation can help create delightful moments:

Keep users interested during loading

Loading time is an unavoidable situation for most digital products. But who says that loading should be boring? When we can’t shorten the line, we can certainly make the wait more pleasant. To ensure people don’t get bored while waiting for something to happen, you can offer them some distraction: this can be something fun or something unexpected. While animation won’t solve the problem, it definitely makes waiting less of a problem: fine animation can distract your users and make them ignore long loading times.

Image credits: Ramotion

Make a great first impression

First impressions count: people judge things based on how they look. The good animation throughout the onboarding flow has a strong impact on how first-time users will engage with the app. A good first impression isn’t just about usability, it’s also about personality. If your app few first screens look a little different from similar products, you’ve shown the user that your entire product experience will likely be different too. For example, animating an illustration for a new feature can educate the user about the feature in a memorable way.

Image credits: Jeff Chang

Make your interfaces feel more alive

Creative animation can make your user experience truly delightful: they can transform familiar interactions into something much more enjoyable and have the power to encourage users to actually interact. Attention to fine movements can increase the level of usability and therefore desirability of the product.

Image credits: Tubik