Well, not so fast. Not everything that moves automatically stirs the soul. Capturing someone’s eye is not the same as having their undivided attention and tickling someone’s eyeballs is very different from capturing someone’s heart and mind. If I see a fly buzz past my head, I will look at it, but is does not mean I will run out for a hot bowl of steaming flies an hour later. Moving stuff – even if well-designed or funny – can be distracting or irrelevant. And while we’re at it: yes, it can be irritating at times as well.
The motion in the middle
To be clear: at some basic level motion works, all the time. After all, we are only human. We cannot resist the tickle. But it only works to our advantage if it is part of a communication strategy that takes the big picture into account. What does the customer want and need? What is their mindset? What else is there around the moving brand experience that matters to the viewer? Context, sociology, psychology, history and a great big dollop of graphic design and branding expertise are needed to make movement truly work. Motion should not just move; it should engage.
At our agency, we do the motion last. Before we start to animate, we think about the how and what. We consider the big Why. The many motion graphics we have done for our clients over the past ten years have always been the end result of a careful and largely invisible process of deciding what *not* to do and because of that, our final creative result always has a sense of inevitability to it: it moves because it must move, and it moves the way it does because this is the best way. Sometimes, less is more. Sometime, too much is barely enough. For us, there is no standard fix-it jiggle: every motion we create, every visual change over time is unique, bespoke to the client and their needs.