motion design
user experience
user interface design
visual design

How to Cite

Avila-Munoz, R., Clemente-Mediavilla, J., & Perez-Luque-Maricalva, M. J. (2021). Communicative Functions in Human-Computer Interface Design: A taxonomy of Functional Animation. Review of Communication Research, 9, 119-146. Retrieved from https://www.rcommunicationr.org/index.php/rcr/article/view/99


Whenever a user performs a task or communicates via their computer or device, they are guided by visual cues to interact successfully with the interface. This human-computer interaction is, therefore, mediated by the communication established between designer and user through the texts, graphic elements, and animations that make up the visual design of the interface. Animation is an element of visual language of the graphical elements of an interface. This study aims to establish the functions of animation. We reviewed the literature and discussed the shortcomings identified in the existing taxonomies of functional animation. We then proposed an updated classification, partly inspired by the functions presented in Jakobson’s communication model. Based on a content analysis of the design guidelines from the leading mobile phone developers and comparing these sources, we propose the following list of categories: Identifying, Structural, Guide, Feedback, Didactic, Esthetic, and Emotive. This new taxonomy aims to contribute to the theoretical frameworks used in visual communication when studying interface design. It will be useful, for example, to help detect, classify, and assess the appropriateness of animations based on the functions they provide to an interface.


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