The principles of motion

Ryan Kirkpatrick

As the old saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words”, and if that’s true, how much more can be communicated through something in motion?

Motion is an essential part of life. It enables us to grow, to develop, and to express ourselves in unique and individual ways. You can tell a lot about a person by how they communicate through their movements. For example, body language and facial expressions can have a host of meanings to an observer and communicate a vast amount of information in seconds. What’s amazing is that we live in a time where we can replicate this kind of expression through technology, and more specifically, digital platforms.

As a designer here at liquidfish I get to work on some pretty amazing projects like websites and mobile applications, and one of my favorite tools to use in our process is a program called Principle. With Principle, I can take the designs I’ve created in a static environment and bring them to life in an interactive environment with animated interactions and movements.

Telling the story

Why is this important you might ask? Well, the purpose isn’t just making something look more lively — though it is a lot of fun. Through movement we can go a step further in crafting the story behind a brand.

This enables us to find creative ways to bring our client’s personality to the foreground of the design. When the interactions and movements are executed well, just like our comparison on the old adage, we’re able to say even more about a product, service, company or individual through movement than we would have with just static visuals alone.

Communicating functionality

Another important aspect for using a tool like Principle is that it allows us to explore functionality in a more meaningful and productive way. For example, when we’re determining the relationship of landing pages to secondary page content, or how a menu will function on mobile as opposed to the desktop, we can prototype these movements and interactions before we ever type a line of code. This means catching issues early and creating better solutions before investing the heavy lifting required during development and programming stages. It also means happier developers!

Making lasting impressions

With all of the planning and strategizing that goes into our projects, our ultimate goal is to create an experience that people will enjoy and want to revisit again and again. Whether that be through an eye opening website introduction or the subtle movement of an icon to let you know you’ve successfully interacted with the page content, motion is a tool I look forward to exploring further to bring more value to our clients and enhance the effectiveness of our work.