When building an appealing user interface, it also means that you have to be an animator. Why is that the case? Because designs have evolved so much that it seems like almost every element in a user interface has a slide-in or a hover effect or a bounce to it. This means that a good designer requires well-coded animation libraries to generate the desired animations in a design.

The good news is that there are many free animation libraries for you to choose from. Because of this, you can still learn about the best animation techniques and implement them in your own designs without breaking your budget.

Animate.css

Animate.css

Animate.css is one of the most popular animation libraries out there. It’s free and offers CSS animations without having to search through a huge library or work through a difficult interface. What’s interesting about Animate.css is that it allows you to link up your CSS and add the required HTML and CSS elements. It’s a highly robust animation library and has been in active development for quite some time.

Bounce.js

Bounce.js

If you’re looking for a free JavaScript animation library, Bounce.js is a great place to start your search. It has more of a focus on goofy, bouncy animations – but many of them can work well on a wide variety of projects. The stand out feature from Bounce.js is how smooth the animations look. In addition, it’s an extremely small library for those who need these particular types of animations. So, if you like the silly animations, it’s worth looking into.

GSAP Library

GSAP Library

The GSAP library provides a robust collection of elements without the price tag. It’s a powerful animation library that works well with all browsers. What’s interesting is that the GSAP library runs entirely on JavaScript, and it also incorporates HTML5. One thing you’ll notice is that many animation libraries aren’t updated all that frequently. As with all of the animation libraries on this list, GSAP has a team of developers who maintain it and roll out updates frequently.

Wicked CSS

Wicked CSS

The Wicked CSS library has one of the more fun, playful interfaces in terms of animation libraries. The goal with this website/library is to focus primarily on CSS. The results are hard to beat, as the CSS runs on top of CSS3. The Wicked CSS library is much newer than some of the other libraries we have on this list, but the developers are hard at work updating it and making sure it doesn’t become stagnant. The demos on the homepage get the ball rolling right from the start, since you’re able to preview and play around with animations like wiggles, zooms, floaters and more. One of the reasons this animation library is becoming so popular is because you’re able to find both simple and complicated animations. The developers note that some of the animations are simple enough for anyone to develop, but you can also find extremely complex choices as well.

Tuesday

Tuesday

It seems like so many animations on the internet today are getting a little out of hand. If you feel this way and would like to get back to the simpler basics, the Tuesday animation library is just what you need. The library is fairly easy to understand, since it asks you to change around the settings and specify how you would like the items to show up and disappear on the page. Tuesday is a CSS library with the goal of making a website’s experience simple for the user. In short, you’re going to find animations that add a little pop to the UX but won’t make the user feel distracted in any way.

Written by Brenda Stokes Barron

Brenda Stokes Barron is a professional writer and blogger and The Digital Inkwell is her personal brand. You can often find her typing furiously at her local Starbucks. (Yes, she's that person).