4 Major Types of Animation for Your Mobile App

Animation isn’t just a stylish addition to your mobile app’s design. It’s also a powerful tool that serves a range of functions. Some of the most significant tasks of animation include improving the UX, facilitating app navigation, lowering the cognitive load, and providing system status updates to users.

Iryna Makiievska for Fireart Studio

Motion design trends tend to vary from time to time, and app designers combine different animation styles and techniques. However, you should never forget about the basics, as they usually deliver the most value to users. So what are these basics? Keep reading, and you’ll see the key animation types that’ll make your mobile solution more comprehensive and intuitive!

Visual Feedback 

This type of animation brings users more clarity in completing specific tasks. For example, you may have noticed that sometimes, you tap the button to process a payment or approve the changes, and nothing happens. The visual feedback will help you if your action has been either confirmed or denied.

Thanks to this feature, you see if the system started working on your requests. Visual feedback facilitates navigation and indicates whether a user’s on the right track. This animation type is used with as little text as possible. 

For example, you’re signing up for a particular platform. You need to enter your number, full name, and email. With this motion type, you’ll make sure the number format is correct, the email you entered is valid, and you’ve entered your name and surname in separate fields. 

Progress and Loading Animation

Another way to clarify the user journey within a mobile app and make it smoother is the progress and/or loading animation. This is what helps you see if the system is processing your action. 

Let’s say you’re downloading a TV series on Netflix. You’ll see the downloading progress of each episode in the separate section. Or, for example, you’re able to see the progress you made on processing an online application (e.g., how many steps or what percentage is left to complete your registration). 

Finally, the progress/loading animation helps users calm down, shorten the waiting time, and see how much time is left there to complete a task. With this animation type, you see the updates on your request.

System Status 

System status is another motion design type that helps you see a specific operation’s current state of things. It helps you see your request status and track whether the app has responded to it.

This is a useful thing when it comes to confirming one of the following:

  • Submitting an action (successful payment, registration confirmation, etc.)
  • Making sure the request is accepted by the system (a message was sent, the download started, etc.)
  • Reducing uncertainty whether a process has begun or the request has been confirmed
  • Lowering the cognitive load to understand better what the next steps are or if everything is fine.


An onboarding animation is an interactive, introductory walkthrough to ensure a smooth first experience for every user. This animation type helps you get as much information about how the apps work as possible. 

Usually, onboarding is an easy, playful, and fun way to get to know the app’s most significant functions and find out what it’s all about. Plus, this animation type is frequently used to show users some of the latest updates released for an app. 

Since it’s one of the most important animated elements in a mobile app, onboarding has to be the most user-friendly, comprehensive, and welcoming element. 

The overall onboarding flow shows you a step-by-step guide to enabling the particular feature and navigating through the app with no extra hassle. Plus, it focuses on the key UI elements and tools a customer will make the most use of. If a design team fails the onboarding element, you can expect a decline in user engagement and poor UX.


Mobile app animation is a great way to facilitate navigation, boost user engagement, and make your tool more pleasant to use. Now that you know the key motion design elements you should implement in your solution, you’re free to mix them with additional animation types and create an absolutely unique tool.

If you still need more insights on mobile app animation, our explainer videos are there for you! Plus, we at Explain Ninja can also create one for you to ensure proper messaging and communication of your brand’s core values. If that’s something you could make use of, feel free to reach out to us, and we’ll sort things out!

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