Transform your web design with functional animation

Sarah Drasner explores the potential of animation in modern web and UX design in this talk from Generate New York.

Animation, in web design terms, has grown up. It's no longer a bit of window dressing for your site, shiny but ultimately worthless. Instead it's becoming a vital tool in user experience design, and used well it can guide users and help a site function intuitively.

Sarah Drasner will be discussing animation at Generate San Francisco this month. In her talk, Intricate SVG animations, she'll be demonstrating just how versatile SVG animations can be, from practical uses such as data visualisation to more creative applications. If you feel that animation is a missing part of your skillset then this session will be a real eye-opener.

Generate San Francisco

Sarah will be demonstrating the potential of SVG animation at Generate San Francisco

In advance of Sarah's session, here's her talk from Generate New York back in April. Entitled Functional Animation, it's a great introduction to the potential of animation in modern web and UX design. In it she points out that our brains are trained to respond most intently to movement, and so animation can play an important role in user experience; however, it's very easy to overdo it.

Get your animation right and it can make your site a whole lot more intuitive for users; get it wrong and, well, we all remember Flash, right? So watch this session for some pointers on how to get it right; with plenty of use cases, from both design and technical implementation standpoints, it's an essential guide to successfully deploying animation online.

Sarah Drasner

Animation can be a powerful tool, says Sarah Drasner, as long as you don't overdo it

If you want to know more about web animation but can't make it to San Francisco, don't worry because it's also covered at Generate Sydney and London later in the year. At Generate Sydney on 5 September, Val Head will discuss motion in design systems, covering guidelines for designing animation that fits your brand, making animation part of your design process, and documenting your animation decisions in your style guide for future use: all the things you need to make web animation work for you and your team.

And at Generate London on 22 September, Cennydd Bowles will explore the potential of sound as well as animation. In his session, All singing, all dancing, he'll show you how simple music theory can help communicate mood and function, and explore how motion and sound together can help bring life and clarity to the things you make.

To find out more about these talks – plus all the other insightful and inspiring sessions and workshops on offer at all three events – head over the Generate site.


Jim McCauley is a writer, editor and occasional podcaster, and is available for space parties.