Motion is an important aspect of XR experiences since it can be used to enhance interactions, support the narrative, and direct people where to look. However, if there are too many elements moving at once, it can get distracting and confusing very quickly.

TL;DR Do’s and Don’ts


  • Use scale and colliding objects with care.
  • Use animation as a form of feedback.
  • Remember to keep motion sickness in mind when creating animations.


  • Don’t ignore real-world physics when creating virtual-world animations.
  • Don’t overwhelm people with too many elements moving at once.


  • People can get easily distracted by animated objects. Use animation with care and ensure the interactive elements are clearly distinguished.
  • Provide people with feedback such as hovers, color transitions and other micro-interactions that will let them know they are successfully or unsuccessfully interacting with objects.

Examples to try

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Moss by Polyarc, 2017


I know I mention this experience a lot, but there’s a good reason. There is motion throughout the environment, but they follow the rule that less is more. There is enough motion to make the world feel alive, but no so much that it overwhelms you. The larger motions are carefully reserved only to grab your attention and progress the story.

They also cleverly use Quill’s body language to direct your attention of where to look at certain points in the story. As the story progresses, they use a subtle ghosted controller to demonstrate which button to use for what interaction. And the objects you can manipulate directly have a nice highlight to distinguish them from the rest of the world.

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Oculus First Contact

Oculus First Contact

This experience is free on the Oculus platform for all Oculus headsets. Again, the robot uses body language to communicate with you, direct you where to look, and indicate what you should do. Its communication is then reinforced with glowing elements, and smaller animations on the objects you should be interacting with. Pay close attention to how they use micro-animations to reinforce interactions and indicate success.

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I’m an Immersive Tech UX Design Professional with over 22 years of experience designing for kiosks, websites, mobile apps and desktop software for many well-known and not-so-well-known companies.

I’m not speaking on behalf of or representing any company. These are my personal thoughts, experiences and opinions.

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