Schedule a call

Motion Design for UX: Why it is an upcoming skill for UX Designers

In this article

Motion design is commonly seen as a graphic designer’s job. But soon, motion design for UX will be a key skill in the UI/UX industry too. In an era where attention is scarce, captivating users is crucial. And creating moving elements on a screen is one way to do so.

Motion design refers to animation and visual effects that have graphic design principles and video production applied to it. Typical examples include animated GIFs, or animations.

The quality of a motion design directly contributes to the user experience. It can create the perception of a shorter waiting time, like the loading bar, or convey empathy when the design echoes the changing emotional state of the user.


We have spoken to Nattu Adnan, co-Founder of LottieFiles, and asked him what he thinks about motion design and the UX industry. For the full webinar of his thoughts, click here.

Q: What trends are you seeing in the field of UX with regards to motion design?

No more static illustrations

I think this is where the future is headed, where all of us are sort of tired of looking at the stock photocopy on every website that we go [to], or maybe we see that static illustration. Like humans in an office, or a hand drawing on a page. And you’re like “oh this isn’t moving”.

Our muscle memory is now trained to ignore all the stock photos and all of this static stuff. In the future I think what will capture our attention is motion. A basic example [of a company that uses motion] is Grab.

For example, If you’re looking at a map of somebody delivering the food and you’re looking at the car, or the bike – which you have no control over. You’re just stressed about the next turn, on the next road that they are on.

You [didn’t] really need to worry about it but because of the way things are designed, you’re just given unnecessary stress and worry.

Thinking about easing others’ minds

But if we ask, how can we make things better for someone? Like showing a soup in animation or something that will take their worry away for a while. That is where motion design will become relevant in the field of UX.

So I think for more and more apps, what they’re trying to do is bring in motion so that you can ease people’s minds and humanize the entire experience. Because today I think it’s very robotic where things are very still. Like there’s an alert and a warning but there’s no delight even if you finish something.

Q: Do you see motion designers as a separate skill for motion designers to acquire or do you see it as a very specialized discipline where you need a specialist to do the job?

I think this again depends on how much motion design you want to do.

If there’s something–let’s say–a small loading indicator or something that you want for your onboarding screen, but you already have the design, configuration bar. Then, getting motion to those elements is, I think, a very handy skill for a product designer. A specialist in motion design would not be needed.

Q: Is the motion design learning curve steep for UX designers?

For Lottie, there isn’t much to pick up. I think Lottie only touches on 10% of AfterEffects. People even use our website to create movies and so forth.

Presence of online support

There’s a course called If you go there, you can find a lot of free courses. There’s one from lead motion design from Airbnb, and there’s another one called UX in motion as well. They are easy to do once you learn it.

Learning this can go a long way because when you mention to any companies that you know Lottie, you immediately get the respect of the engineering team. Lottie saves a lot of time for them. And we’ve even seen on Linkedin that a lot of people are using Lottie as a skill.

You can also see a lot of companies looking for people who can animate. And these are very simple things. Most of the time it’s like “can you change the colour and then do a minor edit?”

Multiple plug-in features on Lottie

Now there’s a lot of things on Lottie. There’s a Lottie SVG and Lottie plug-ins where you can just bring in your icon for your illustration, quickly use a reset and export to a loading format. If you want to use it on your products, WordPress or anywhere, most of them have Lottie plug-ins for you to use it straight away. Even if you want to use it somewhere else, you can export all the files as MP4 or dip a well.

So there’s a lot of opportunities for learning the skill.

Q: What are your thoughts on design education and how can we help our communities?

Playing around with available resources

I think the best way to learn is to dive in and see how somebody has created something. And when you have unlimited files to play around with, you can do whatever you want to do.

I think we should start from scratch, take something that someone has already done and see how you can change it to the way that you want to do it. Be it taking an illustration, modifying it and adding motion to that. It can even be a simple subtle animation.

Getting feedback & learning from various channels

Then share [your work] with people and see how they feel about it. And all of a sudden, you’re like “hey I got a new skill! I know the gist of things. I can now animate.”

For a lot of us, say when we learn to code, we’re like, “okay, let me start with Python and go with the full-on basics.” That is important, but that also takes some of the fun away. Because now you’re doing a lot of things and a lot of needs in order to get to the fun stuff.”

So, take these files, play around, see how you can do the things that you want to do and that’s all it is. There are also YouTube channels.

In fact, we even have a discord channel where a lot of designers come in and ask questions. By having discussions about what is difficult to do, you’ll learn something new, and you might just change things as well.


With motion design as a key enabler of pleasurable experiences, it will definitely be an invaluable skill that a UX designer can have. If you want to know more about user experience and its industry, do check out our other resources available on our website, such as our articles, weekly webinars, and podcasts. CuriousCore offers both a 2-day UX Design Course and a 4-month UX Career Accelerator for those keen on transitioning into the industry. Click the buttons below to find out more.

Nattu Adnan’s Bio

Having been a Lead Product Designer at ServisHero, Senior Product Designer at MindValley and now the Co-Founder and CTO of LottieFiles, Nattu has had plenty of years of experience in the field. He currently works in LottieFiles which focuses on building the future of animation and interactive design. It is a company funded by Adobe Fund for Design & 500 Startups and backed by M12, Microsoft VC as their investor.

With over 20 years of experience in building Web applications, his approach involves using a user-centered design process to turn complex problems into understandable and good-looking products.


How to become a UX designer with no experience: