At the moment I’m learning User Experience design and how it can be used to dramatically improve the experience of the product, improve the workflow of an application or website, get people to ‘want’ to use your product and to ultimately save and make money. Today I put my own relationship with the tools and applications I use under the microscope and took a look at animations.
Anyone who has ever seen me work will find that I when I’m really working I work very quickly. I’ve configured Windows and my Android phone so that I can find things and get to things fast, my computer has been optimised to be fast, all of the Window animations has been turned off so that windows appear quickly, I work in a fashion where things whiz around my screen quickly and where there is a constant buzz of information. This is great, but can easily lead you down to path of becoming mentally exhausted and on edge.
The solution slowing things down. I recently tried turning Window animations back on, and turning back on many of the visual elements of Windows which to begin with used to annoy me. The result? More time to think, more time to more carefully consider what I’m doing and ultimately produce better results. Sometime animations are put in there because, well it looks cool (to the designer / hacker coder at least). But other times the can be used to not only provide visual feedback to what’s happening but also to relax you and to help to give you time to more carefully consider what you are doing, and what the results of your actions may be.
I’m not saying here that every application should include animations, or to animate for animations sake. Instead to use animations to illustrate the information being presented on screen, to provide visual feedback and visual cues to their actions and also to help relax the user to use the application, whilst at the same time not being an obstruction to the user or the task they’re trying to do.