What is Motion Design

What Is Motion Design?

When we think of motion design, we think of animation (or maybe not?), and when we think animation, we assume Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks etc. This, however, doesn’t do the concept of Motion Design much justice.

Motion design is interesting because it is all of the above. It’s about creating films, it’s UX in Motion, it’s about experimental HTML5 animations, TV adverts, Logo animations, social media adverts and posts. Motion design is a fun filled bucket that fills our lives – most of the time without even realising.

The profession of Motion design is a broad topic. There are many components that make up what motion design is, and so a lot of times the actual “design” aspect gets lost in the process. Motion Design is a wholistic approach to getting information across to an audience in the most efficient and eye-catching way. We use typography, colour, texture, illustration to depict brand, inform or evoke an emotional response, we also utilise animation to help catch the eye, explain and navigate through complex discussion.

There are a lot of avenues to discover with Motion design, both in UX/UI, call to action content and branding. Motion can create an atmosphere, and it can inform your layouts or interaction models.



Animation is the study of movement using a sequence of images that refer to one another in small variations. When we scope an animation for a project, it begets the question “what kind of animation?”
Various animation techniques include:

  • Traditional — Frame by frame, rotoscope.
  • Stop motion — Clay, puppet, model, object, pixelation (using live action footage)
  • Computer — 2D (After Effects, HTML%mi), 3D (photo realistic, cell shaded, motion capture)

There are many ways to apply animation. Each technique has an aesthetic which can carry a specific feel. For example, stop motion vs 3D realism. They have a different look and tone, and knowing that will allow you to bend the rules to suit your brand style and message.

Motion design

Motion design is the study of motion (animation) and the practice of aesthetic design and systems thinking. This includes solving problems that weigh against content, context, perception, and many other variables. Motion design is the perfect combination of ideas, technique and application. Creating one memorable or useful output.

Motion design is used in just about anything – including loading screens, mouse animations and roll-over effects (when you click on a web link). All of these design and animation elements combine to guide a journey or tell a story.