To appear in ACM Proc. of Advanced Visual Interfaces (2016)
Animations are commonplace in today's user interfaces. From bouncing icons that catch attention, to transitions helping with orientation, to tutorials, animations can serve numerous purposes. We revisit Baecker and Small's pioneering work Animation at the Interface, 25 years later. We reviewed academic publications and commercial systems, and interviewed 20 professionals of various backgrounds. Our insights led to an expanded set of roles played by animation in interfaces today for keeping in context, teaching, improving user experience, data encoding and visual discourse. We illustrate each role with examples from practice and research, discuss evaluation methods and point to opportunities for future research. This expanded description of roles aims at inspiring the HCI research community to find novel uses of animation, guide them towards evaluation and spark further research.