The Importance of Transitions

In a recent article Mark Cossey shares his thoughts on the importance of transitions in interface design.

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In the article Cossey makes some valid points and shows great examples. It proves once again that designing great interfaces can’t be achieved by just sketching and wireframing, but also by prototyping.

A transition that has been designed to be slow can feel awful. When designing an application, an interface or any type of structured content, we must ensure that users understand where they have come from as they arrive at the new page or state. The transition from one screen or group of content to another should feel natural and should be tested on devices of varying power and speed to get a wider view of how the transition feels. Too fast, and it may appear broken or jumpy; too slow, and it will be frustrating to use.

There are plenty of ways to incorporate transitions into a design. Here are some suggestions Cossey gives:

  • Avoid any pause at the point of clicking, touching or swiping;
  • Test in the real world – “Load a prototype of your design in a supermarket or on the train, and test it to see how it performs under pressure”;
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel – “In general, follow the conventions of the operating system you are designing for”;
  • Mind the future.

Read the entire article on UX Magazine.

Some examples

Jeroen van Geel

Jeroen van Geel is founder/chief kahuna of Johnny Holland and the interaction director at Fabrique [brands, design & interaction], a Dutch multidisciplinary design agency. You can follow him on Twitter via @jeroenvangeel.

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