As with all messages, storytelling is key. Good motion graphics has a compelling narrative, with the visuals supporting the story and reinforcing the message.

Bad motion graphics can include breaks, gaps, skips, jumbled sequences, confusing messages, unnecessary data (which clutters the screen making it difficult to absorb the data), too much text, titles that don’t match the supporting data, and other pitfalls that get in the way of the story to be told.

To avoid these problems, ask people you trust to critique your motion graphics during development. If you see an exaggerated transition or there are confusing parts, edit or redo the work according to your opinions. The key is to do this sooner rather than later: static infographics are easy to rework, but graphics with animation in line with the audio are much harder to change.


How to build a good motion graphic?

At the end of the day, making a motion graphic is a lot like making an animated movie that contains a lot of simplified infographics. Because of this, the steps to creating a great motion graphic are a lot like the process of creating a movie:

1. Start with a story – Before starting any motion graphics, you need to decide what story you are trying to tell. (And, of course, it must have stored the data where the story will come from.)

2. Create a script – Unlike a static infographic, which is typically used to highlight key points in a story with data, motion graphics focus on having a conversation about all or (more likely) part of the story. That means you need to know where the conversation will start and where it will end.

3. Create a storyboard – Once your script is outlined, the design phase begins. A storyboard is created based on the script with appropriate visuals designed to back up what is being said.

4. A word about duration – It’s tempting to create a motion graphic with the same duration considerations as live video (eg 2-3 minutes seems easy and doable). However, due to the animated/slide-based nature of motion graphics, a much shorter production is usually better. 2-3 minutes of animation is somewhere around 45 slides of content.

Production – After all the planning is done, it’s time to create the final look, cut the audio and put it all together into the final product.

Remember not to rush this process. In order for the final product to tell the right story and reflect your brand’s professionalism, it’s important to go through each of these steps and take the time to get them right.