Motion draws the eye.

“Motion provides meaning,” according to Google‘s Material Design language for mobile application design. Motion guides our interactions with mobile devices. Motion is equally central to our experience of watching videos. Motion is where the eye goes and the mind follows. That’s why it makes sense to plan each bit of motion in technology business videos with careful consideration.

The four golden words: “Here’s how it works”

The main reason people watch 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, hopefully, 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 “real” video demo.

The animated version of this explanatory video by Danish 3D animation house PinkSquare gets rid of clutter. What comes across is the essential idea — no more, no less.

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

Marketers tend to value video most 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.