Interaction Design and Micro Animation
In my experience designing for both television and interactive, the animation needs to have depth and complexity and allow for discovery upon multiple views by the viewer/user. In interactive design, and especially in mobile the less animation, the better. In fact, if the user does not perceive the animation at all the first time, or even for a month, I believe that’s a great animation. Then upon discovering the animation if the user appreciates the simplicity and nuances that can be the furthering of a relationship.
Think Paul Rand and how he designed logos; there was often a “hidden smile” for the user to discover and appreciate, even after having experienced the service for a long time. The “seeing” of something previously overlooked takes the relationship further, personalizing it. Then if perhaps the user then again forgets about that animation and takes it for granted again, even better. Remember, the micro-animation enhances the experience, it doesn’t dominate, the less it is “noticed” the further the experiential relationship is imperceptibly enhanced and appreciated. No need to shout out how awesome you are - all the time.
Less is more.