“Motion provides meaning,” according to Google’s Material Design language for mobile applications. Motion guides our interactions with mobile devices. Motion is equally central to the experience of watching videos. Motion tells the eye where to go. That’s why it makes sense to give a lot of consideration to motion graphics in technology business videos.
Four golden words: “Here’s how it works” (again)
In a recent post, I mentioned that engineers watch video to find out how stuff works. But the main reason anyone watches marketing videos is to find out how some new solution works. Or, more precisely, how it might work for me. They’re looking for a concise answer, free of hype. Video, especially animated video, can be a remarkably efficient way to explain how concepts or things really work. The Danish 3D animation company PinkSquare has put together an interesting and effective demonstration showing how much faster animation can put across a concept — even compared to a live action video demo.
Of course, animation can also take you places like the inside of a machine or organism where you can’t go in real life. And it can bring abstractions like business processes and business models to life.
Emotion and motion graphics
Marketers tend to value video for its storytelling power. Stories “provide meaning” and often engage our emotions. Very simple animated motion — 2D or 3D — can put across an idea and evoke emotion, too. There are a number of examples in this brilliant video by Sander van Dijk, which further explains the Google Material Design principles for using motion in UI design.
It can be useful to think about the explanatory power of simple movements as you plan the production of animated videos. It takes very little movement to draw the viewer’s eye. Which is another way of saying, a small deliberate gesture can get the customer to focus on what you’re trying to say. All you need to do is make sure your video says it clearly.