Learning from Cartoons

Cartoons have a hundred years of development behind them. Cartoon animators have come up with a complex visual language that even small children can easily understand. We can follow cartoons even if they display a large number of objects or characters at the same time, each exhibiting intricate behaviors. In their paper “Animation: From Cartoons to the User Interface,”[79] Bay-Wei Chang and David Ungar point out a number of lessons we can learn from cartoons:


In the real world, objects are solid: they have mass, inertia, weight, and balance. These are attributes that people understand intuitively. By replicating these attributes in your animations, it’s easier for users to figure out what’s going on.

Let users ...

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