Design the Future
January 19–20, 2016: Training
January 20–22, 2016: Conference
San Francisco, CA

Zen and the art of motion in user interfaces

Mike Gadow (Fjord), Russell Wilkins (Uber)
2:05pm Friday, 01/22/2016
The new fundamentals
Location: Southside Theater
Average rating: ***..
(3.76, 17 ratings)
Slides:   1-PDF 

Prerequisite knowledge

This presentation is geared toward designers who are considering using transitions or motion in their interfaces or are currently using them but struggle to implement them in final products.


Interface animation has long been misunderstood as just adding finish and excitement to interfaces. With the prominence of animation in iOS 7 and Google Material Design, animation is becoming recognized as a vital part of interface design. But this perception is not changing quickly enough. As designers, we face the challenge of communicating how motion should work (and its value) to other stakeholders. Mike Gadow and Russell Wilkins, motion designers turned UI designers, show how they use motion graphics and advocate for motion in user interfaces.

Russell and Mike are passionate about animation and motion graphics as well as the impact it can have on contemporary interface design. At Fjord, a service design consultancy, they strive to create insight-driven experiences that people love. Here, they explore the ways that motion in user interfaces can truly elevate an experience and discuss how to communicate UI motion and sell its value to others. Russell and Mike will review the latest methods of creating, iterating, and sharing UI motion with other stakeholders in a way that attendees can understand and build into their final product. Additionally, they will go through the most common roadblocks during design and development and explain how to overcome them.

Photo of Mike Gadow

Mike Gadow


Mike Gadow is a senior interaction designer in the bursting-at-the-seams Fjord San Francisco studio, where he translates user goals into elegant experiences. Ever since designing the logo for his class section in the sixth grade, he has been in love with design in its many forms. Mike is passionate about telling users’ stories to help clients build exceptionally rewarding relationships with their customers, employees, and partners. In a past life, Mike led design teams creating interactive games and bonus features for clients such as Disney, Warner Bros., Hasbro, and Mattel. Mike’s work has won several DVD Excellence and HOW Magazine In-House Design awards. Outside of work, Mike enjoys cycling, snowboarding, and reading to his two-year-old daughter.

Photo of Russell Wilkins

Russell Wilkins


Russell Wilkins is a senior product designer at Uber with years of experience storyboarding for animation and building enterprise software. Russell specializes in combining service strategy, product design, and engaging storytelling. Prior to product design, Russell was a service designer at Fjord, helping clients define better services in the healthcare, finance, and retail spaces. Outside of agency work, he’s also built and launched a successful healthcare education startup in San Francisco.