Interaction Design and Micro Animation
In my experience designing for both television and interactive applications, the animation needs to have depth, complexity, and simplicity that allows for discovery upon multiple views over time. In web and application design, desktop and mobile, the less animation the better. Especially so in apps where the user sees the animation over and over again. In fact, if the user does not acknowledge the animations existence 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 forgets about that animation, and takes it for granted, even better. Remember, the micro-animation can subliminally enhance the experience, not dominate our shout out it’s existence. The less noticed, and the more more imperceptible it enhances the experience and the more it’s appreciated.
Less is more.