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Pabi Moloi, but Forbes
Pabi Moloi, but Forbes

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DevFestZA: Bringing Your Android Application To Life Using Animations (Part 1)

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The South African leg of DevFest was hosted in the city of Johannesburg, and it was amazing. I had submitted a topic for the CFP (Call For Proposal), which had to be about Google technologies. My topic was Bringing Your Android Application To Life Using Animations.
I was super nervous as this was my first time ever giving a talk about Android. I just thought to myself: The room will have Android professionals, who are possibly more experienced than I am, what could they possibly learn from me?
My plan of action was to share what I have learnt about animations. Similar to how we write about our experiences while coding, but this time, it was not a blog post, rather a talk.

I chose animations because:

  • I had slowly started exploring animations
  • It would be a topic that I would have fun talking about
  • Animations are fun, we can animate almost anything in our Android apps
  • Animations are often overlooked

Planning It All Out

I used my blog post planning techniques to help guide the structure of my talk. The technique has planning steps as follows:

  1. Introduction (this may be a background story as to why the content is created or the problem that you are trying to solve.)
  2. Body (the body will contain most of the content, it may also include steps in resolving the problem stated in the introduction.)
  3. Conclusion (you can state your final thoughts in the conclusion, maybe even the lessons you have learned from tackling the problem.)

With that in mind, I planned my talk about animations to unfold as follows:

  • What animations are?
  • What role do they play?
  • How to use animations?
  • When to use animations?

The Content
When we create applications, we rarely create them to be used solely by ourselves. We want to create applications that are functional and visually appealing.People interact with their mobile phones everyday. Mobile phones have become our go-to devices. People naturally expect some form of feedback when they interact with their mobile phones.

Feedback is essential.

Using animations is a great way to provide feedback. Objects respond to our interactions & people expect a similar level of responsiveness from application elements. Animations add visual cues that notify the user about what is going on in your application. Animations are particularly useful when the UI changes state; such as when content loads or a new action has become available.

InVision makes use of the term Functional Animations : “Functional animations are types of animations that are subtle, have clear and logical purpose.”
It does not mean that every element should be animated. Animations should be meaningful and be used to provide reassurance.

In part 2, we will explore Android animations and I will share some useful links.

Cover Image by DESIGNECOLOGIST on Unsplash
Sticky Note Image by rawpixel on Unsplash

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