An Animated EmberCamp Talk: Meaningful User Tools

Lights in motion
Jean DerGurahian

Content Marketing Analyst

Jean DerGurahian

Animation done right can be a significant boost for digital design and user experience. As with all aspects of a mobile or web development project, the use of animation should be included deliberately and thoughtfully from the start, rather than considered a fancy gimmick to be added at the end.

In his EmberCamp presentation, Content Choreography: Meaningful Motion in Ember Apps, UX Developer James Steinbach will discuss animation as a meaningful tool and how to use it effectively to improve the user experience. Read more of his thoughts below and catch him on stage at EmberCamp.

** What do you want your audience to understand from your presentation? **

I really want people to come away understanding that animation benefits the digital design process. It can be used effectively in web applications to reduce user error, and to really move users through the web app experience.

Sometimes, however, we wait until the end of the web application design and development process to consider animation, and then front-end developers are making user decisions for client stakeholders and designers they might not feel empowered to make. In my presentation, I’ll offer some suggestions and tools for UX developers to consider when they’re asked to implement animation design. I have some practical examples to show, as well.

** In what ways does animation enhance the user experience? **

It’s helpful to think of animation as telling a story. Without animation, we leave users on their own to hover, tap, click, and figure out the “right way” to do things. This can leave too much room for users to invent the wrong story about the mobile or web applications we build. Well-designed animation is a tool that can help users understand our apps better and use them with far fewer mistakes

** What do you most enjoy about UX development? **

UX development is a very collaborative role on a DockYard software, mobile, or web application development team. I love that we get to be the “glue” between visual design and app engineering. This creates plenty of opportunities for close collaboration with designers, especially around animation. Intentional animation is still a growing discipline in app development, and I really enjoy working with designers to create animations that truly help users and match well to visual brand guidelines.

** What other EmberCamp talks are you looking forward to attending? **

All of them, to be honest. This is such a great speaker line-up, and it’s my first Ember-specific conference. I’m really looking forward to Marie Chatfield’s talk Don’t Just Put a div On It—Use the Power of the Browser! And of course, fellow DockYarder Lisa Backer’s talk Mocks, Spies, and Timers - Oh My! will be great, too. I’m eager to hear a deep dive into how she approaches testing.

DockYard is a digital product agency offering custom software, mobile, and web application development consulting. We provide exceptional professional services in strategy, user experience, digital design, and full stack engineering using Ember.js and Elixir. With staff nationwide, we’ve got consultants in key markets across the U.S., including Portland, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Dallas, Miami, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Boston.


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