Animating in Figma to Create Participating Elements

Animations can improve the usability of an online or cell interface by guiding navigation, indicating progress in duties, and offering suggestions in response to person actions. Animating UI parts specifically is a necessary—if refined—means to enhance the person expertise. As an illustration, when clicking a coronary heart icon makes it pulse and switch crimson, or hovering over a button causes it to alter coloration, the person receives prompt suggestions that cues them to transition to their subsequent process.

In my six years of UI/UX design, I’ve created a spread of animations, from animated microinteractions to complicated scrolling results. I’ve discovered that animating in Figma is useful as a result of it permits the grouping of parts into parts that may be reused and modified throughout a number of initiatives. I additionally depend on Figma’s “smart animate” characteristic, an easy device for automating transitions.

On this step-by-step tutorial, I present fellow designers the right way to create three animated UI parts in Figma: a Favourite icon, a call-to-action (CTA) button, and a product card.

A screenshot of a Figma canvas with three components—a favorite icon, a call-to-action button, and a product card—and their variants.

Animating a “Favourite” Icon

A Favourite icon permits customers to label an merchandise as essential or one thing they like, usually as a means to reserve it for revisiting later. For instance, Gmail has a star icon customers can click on to mark their essential emails. This tutorial demonstrates the right way to create an analogous star in order that customers can click on or faucet to mark gadgets they like. The ensuing animation can be fairly easy—a refined fade from white to blue—however it’s minor particulars like these that make a product extra partaking.

Begin by clicking Design file within the upper-right nook of the Figma house web page to open a brand new undertaking.

A screenshot of the Figma home page. In the upper-right corner are Design file, FigJam board, and Import buttons.
Begin your animation on the Figma house web page by opening a brand new design file. (Anna Muratova)

Step 1: Create the Default Star

On the toolbar on the prime of the display screen (we’ll name this the prime toolbar), click on the form device—a sq. icon—on the left facet to entry the drop-down menu. Choose the star from the menu after which click on to attract the form in your canvas. It is best to now have a grey star in your canvas.

When you create the form, a panel the place you possibly can customise the component’s angle, dimension, coloration, and impact opens on the proper sidebar. Alter the settings: Click on the minus signal within the fill discipline to take away the grey fill, and select the stroke coloration you need for the form’s define (I set mine to blue for this tutorial). You can too modify the road’s thickness by altering the quantity subsequent to the hamburger icon (I set mine to 2).

You’ve created the star’s default look (or the way it seems earlier than a person clicks it).

A screenshot of Figma’s design mode with an empty star shape outlined in blue in the canvas and a customization panel on the right.
Create the default look of your Favourite icon through the use of the form device and adjusting the colour and line settings. (Anna Muratova)

Step 2: Flip the Star Right into a Element and Add a Variant

Click on on the star, after which click on Create element (the diamond icon) on the prime toolbar to show the star right into a element.

A screenshot of the star and a toolbar above it with four icons. A tooltip under the diamond icon reads, Create component.
Convert the star right into a element by clicking on it and choosing Create element. (Anna Muratova)

Subsequent, add a variant, or a replica of the element you can modify. On the prime toolbar, click on the Add variant icon (a plus check in a diamond).

A screenshot of the component and a toolbar above it with four icons. The diamond icon has a plus sign inside it, and its tooltip reads, Add variant.
Click on the Add variant icon to create a variant. (Anna Muratova)

You now have a element set with two variants of the star. Double-click the second variant (the underside star) to open the proper sidebar and alter the fill to match the stroke coloration utilizing the matching device or by copying the colour code. The second variant is what the star will seem like after the person clicks it.

The original star, outlined in blue, sits above a variant colored in blue.
Two variants of the star present its look earlier than the person clicks on it (prime) and after (backside). (Anna Muratova)

Subsequent, let’s title the 2 variants. Choose the primary star. On the proper sidebar, verify that the Property 1 discipline reads default. Then click on on the second star and alter the Property 1 discipline to stuffed.

A screenshot of the two stars and their settings. The unfilled star is called default and the filled star is called filled in their respective Property 1 field.
Title the variants utilizing the settings on the fitting sidebar for every star. (Anna Muratova)

Step 3: Create the Transition Utilizing Figma’s Good Animate Characteristic

On the prime of the proper sidebar, swap from design mode to prototype mode. Choose the default variant, after which hover your cursor over it till you see a small blue circle containing a plus signal on the sting of the variant.

Click on on the blue circle and drag it to the stuffed variant to create a connection. An arrow will seem between the 2 stars, and a panel with interplay settings will pop up.

Set the next properties within the pop-up settings:

  • On click on: The primary setting within the pop-up is the set off for the animation. We wish the star to alter when the person clicks it, so be certain that On click on is chosen from the drop-down menu.
  • Change to: Subsequent is the motion that’s triggered. On this case, the default star will Change to the stuffed star.
  • Crammed: Third is the vacation spot, or what the star will change to. The second variant ought to already be set because the vacation spot, however affirm that it reads stuffed subsequent to Property 1.
  • Good animate: The fourth setting is the animation. The choices are Instantaneous, Dissolved, and Good animate. Choose Good animate to automate a seamless transition.
  • Ease out: Select the kind of transition because the star modifications from default to stuffed. Choose Ease out for the transition to start quickly and end slowly.
  • Pace: This ultimate setting is the velocity of the transition in milliseconds. Set the velocity to 200ms (0.2 seconds). This may appear quick, however the tempo aligns with person expectations. Nobody needs to take a seat and watch prolonged or elaborate animations after every UI interplay.
A screenshot shows the unfilled and filled stars next to the interaction settings panel.
After you create a connection from the default to the stuffed variant, modify the animation settings. (Anna Muratova)

The transition from default to stuffed is full—however what if the person needs to unfavorite an merchandise or unmark an e-mail and revert the star to the default model?

To allow this motion, create one other transition, however this time from stuffed to default. Choose and hover over the stuffed variant after which click on and drag the blue circle with the plus signal to the default variant. Within the pop-up settings, preserve the identical properties because the final animation, besides change Property 1 to default.

A screenshot shows the unfilled and filled stars next to the interaction settings panel. Two-way arrows appear between the stars to illustrate the motion’s direction.
To allow the person to unfavorite an merchandise, create a connection from the stuffed to the default variant after which modify the animation settings. (Anna Muratova)

Step 4: Preview the Animation

To preview the animation, you first have to create a body. Begin by clicking the area device on the left facet of the prime toolbar and selecting Body from the drop-down menu. Within the canvas, click on and drag to open the body, then copy and paste the default variant into the body.

On the fitting facet of the prime toolbar, click on the prototype view device to open a drop-down menu with the choices Current and Preview. To view the animation in a brand new window, choose Current; to view it in your present window select Preview. As soon as the preview opens, click on on the star to check that the animation modifications from default to stuffed and vice versa.

A screenshot of the default variant in a frame. The cursor hovers over a triangle in the upper-right corner that reads Prototype view.
Use the prototype view device to verify the animation in preview mode. (Anna Muratova)

Here’s a preview of the animated icon:

A GIF of the animation in preview mode. When a user clicks on it, the star transitions from white to blue.

A Name-to-Motion Button for Guiding Customers

Subsequent, we’ll construct on the method we simply realized to animate a CTA button. Right here once more, the animation can be refined, however we’ll add one other variant to the equation to be able to create an oblong button with three states: default, hover, and pressed.

Step 1: Create the Default Button

Working in the identical design file that comprises your Favourite icon, swap again to design mode. Click on the form device within the prime toolbar and choose the rectangle. Click on and drag within the canvas to attract a rectangle. Within the proper sidebar, change the fill coloration to your most well-liked coloration.

Click on the textual content device on the prime toolbar, then add a textual content field contained in the rectangle. Sort “Learn extra” or your required textual content into the field. On the proper sidebar, modify the textual content’s dimension, font, and coloration as desired. You can too customise your button—for example, to provide the button rounded edges, modify the nook radius setting.

Step 2: Flip the Button Right into a Element and Add Two Variants

Use the choice device to pick the rectangle and textual content field. Click on Create element within the prime toolbar to transform it right into a element. Subsequent, click on Add variant and a reproduction button will seem under the unique button.

Then, with the second variant chosen, click on on the purple plus signal that seems. A 3rd variant will seem under the second. You now have a element set with three variants.

Change the fill coloration of the second and third variants. I like to recommend making the colours progressively darker. I modified my second variant to a darker blue and my third variant to black.

Earlier than we proceed, let’s title the three variants. Click on on the primary variant, and on the proper sidebar affirm that the sector subsequent to Property 1 reads default. Choose the second variant and alter Property 1 to hovered. Lastly, choose the third variant and alter Property 1 to pressed.

A screenshot of three Read More buttons aligned vertically, progressing from the lightest to the darkest shade.
Duplicate the button twice to create a complete of three variants: default, hovered, and pressed. (Anna Muratova)

Step 3: Create the Transition by Utilizing the Good Animate Characteristic

Now we create the transition from default to hovered. On the proper sidebar, swap to prototype mode. Choose the default variant and hover your cursor over it till a blue circle with a plus signal seems. Drag the blue circle to the hovered variant to create a connection. An arrow will seem between the 2 variants, and a panel with interplay settings will pop up.

Set the next properties within the pop-up settings:

  • Whereas hovering: We wish the button to alter coloration when the person hovers over it, so change the set off to Whereas hovering within the first drop-down menu.
  • Change to: The motion needs to be set to Change to.
  • Hovered: The second variant ought to already be set because the vacation spot, however affirm that it reads hovered subsequent to Property 1.
  • Good animate: Choose Good animate from the animation choices to automate a seamless transition.
  • Ease out: Set the transition to Ease out.
  • Pace: Set the velocity of the transition to 200ms.

Repeat these steps for the third variant. Discover the plus signal on the hovered variant and drag it to the pressed variant. Set the set off to Whereas urgent and verify that Property 1 reads pressed. Hold the properties Good animate, Ease out, and 200ms.

A screenshot shows three Read More buttons next to the “While hovering” settings on the left; on the right side it shows the same three buttons next to the “While pressing” settings.
Set the animation settings for the second variant (hovered) and the third variant (pressed). (Anna Muratova)

Step 4: Preview the Animation

To preview the animation, create a body within the canvas. Copy the default variant into the body. Within the higher right-hand nook of the prime toolbar, click on on the prototype view device and select Preview to view the animation in the identical window or Current to view it in a brand new window. It will open a preview so to verify that the button modifications from default to hovered to pressed.

Right here is the preview of the button animation:

A GIF of the animation in preview mode. The button changes color when the user hovers over it or clicks on it.

A Product Card That Grabs Consideration

For the ultimate UI animation tutorial, we create and animate a product card. Cards are in style UI parts that show a snapshot of data and hyperlink to a web page. The product card we create on this tutorial incorporates the Favourite and Learn Extra buttons to reveal how parts might be reused throughout initiatives. We additionally add a easy animation to the cardboard that helps entice clicks.

A screenshot of a product card titled UI Animation Course contains a star and a Read More button
On this tutorial, we animate a product card and incorporate the Favourite icon and CTA button. (Anna Muratova)

Step 1: Create the Default Card

Working in the identical design file that comprises the 2 buttons, swap again to design mode. Click on the form device situated on the left facet of the prime toolbar and choose the rectangle from the drop-down menu, then draw a rectangle in your canvas.

We use a picture for the background of this card. Click on the form device once more, choose Place picture/video from the menu, and add your required picture. Click on on the rectangle you drew, and the picture will seem inside the form.

Subsequent, add a textual content field and enter your required copy (for this instance, I wrote “UI Animation Course”). Alter the font, dimension, and placement of the textual content, copy the default variants of the Favourite and Learn Extra buttons we created within the earlier steps, and paste them onto the rectangle. In my card, I positioned the textual content field on the prime left, the Favourite icon on the prime proper, and the Learn Extra button on the backside proper.

As a method selection, I need a line to seem on the bottom-left nook when the person hovers over the cardboard. To create this, utilizing the form device, choose line and draw a brief horizontal line on the rectangle subsequent to the Learn Extra button. Customise the road utilizing the proper sidebar; I adjusted mine to a 5px width and took the layer opacity to 0% so the road wasn’t seen within the default card.

Step 2: Flip the Card Right into a Element and Add a Variant

Choose all parts and convert them right into a element utilizing the Create element icon on the prime toolbar. Subsequent, click on Add variant. The second variant will seem under the primary. You now have a element set with two variants.

Double-click the second variant, after which click on Crop on the prime toolbar. Now you can transfer the picture contained in the rectangle so {that a} completely different portion of it seems within the card. You can too make the picture bigger or smaller. Both of these choices will create the phantasm of motion within the animation.

Click on on the horizontal line. On the proper sidebar, change its opacity to 100%, after which lengthen the road.

Title the second variant by choosing it and typing in hovered subsequent to Property 1 on the fitting sidebar.

A screenshot shows the default product card above the hovered product card.
Two variants of the product card present its default look (prime) and its look after the person hovers over it (backside). (Anna Muratova)

Step 3: Create the Transition Utilizing the Good Animate Characteristic

Within the proper sidebar, swap to prototype mode. Choose the default variant, and hover the cursor over the cardboard till the blue circle with a plus signal seems. Drag the blue circle to the hovered variant to create a connection. An arrow will seem between the 2 variants, and a panel with interplay settings will pop up.

Set the next properties within the pop-up settings:

  • Whereas hovering: We wish the cardboard to alter when the person hovers over it, so change the set off to Whereas hovering from the primary drop-down menu.
  • Change to: The motion needs to be set to Change to.
  • Hovered: The second variant ought to already be set because the vacation spot, however affirm that it reads hovered subsequent to Property 1.
  • Good animate: Choose Good animate from the animation choices to automate a seamless transition.
  • Ease out: Set the transition to Ease out.
  • Pace: Since this can be a extra sophisticated animation with a number of parts at play, set it to a slower velocity of 600 ms. This makes the transition smoother and offers the person extra time to course of the motion.

The Favourite icon and Learn Extra button will retain the animations you already created for them, so that you don’t want to regulate them additional at this step.

A screenshot shows the product card variants and the pop-up panel for the animation settings to  the right.
The animation settings for the second variant (hovered). (Anna Muratova)

Step 4: Preview the Animation

To preview the animation, create a body within the canvas and replica the default variant into the body. Within the higher right-hand nook of the prime toolbar, click on on the prototype view device and choose Preview to view the animation in the identical window or Current to view it in a brand new window. It will open a preview so you possibly can verify that the cardboard works as meant. Check the animation by hovering over the cardboard to look at the road and background change. Click on on the button parts to see the preset animations.

Here’s a preview of the cardboard animation:

A GIF of the animation in preview mode. When the user hovers, the background shifts, the line appears, and the button components are animated.

Elevate the Consumer Expertise With Figma Animation

As soon as a designer masters the animation of foundational UI parts, they will simply transfer on to extra complicated animations, resembling scroll-triggered animations and animated information visualizations. Figma’s animation performance works finest for easy graphics and UI parts; for extra complicated animations, resembling movement graphics in a video or for 3D animations, I like to recommend utilizing Adobe’s After Effects or Apple’s Motion.

The UI animations coated on this tutorial are an incredible place to start out enhancing product usability. Though I’m skilled at creating extra intensive animations, I usually use these easy results in my work as a result of they’re efficient and environment friendly. Generally, elegant simplicity makes all of the distinction.