Animation Rules!

UIs are not cartoons, but they share some of the same constraints: they are a visual medium, inherently 2D, and they must convey potentially complex information to the user in a very short amount of time. A confused user is an unhappy user, so the clearer we can make our GUIs to our users, the more productive they will be in using the applications we build. In the 1920s through the 1940s, animators at Disney Studios studied motion in real life in order to come up with what they called the “Twelve Rules” of animation, for providing more lifelike and enjoyable cartoons. We examine each of these rules to see how we can apply the same techniques to GUI animations to create better and more enjoyable user experiences.