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Understanding Explanatory Animation

An Introduction to Cognitive Design and User Support

Available on the iBooks Store!

The first comprehensive textbook on the psychology of using and understanding explanatory animations.

What is It?

... a multi-touch textbook that covers the perceptual, cognitive, and self-regulative processes which underlie the use of explanatory animations. Various forms of user support such as principles for animation design and strategies for cognitive user engagement are explored. Numerous animations exemplify the addressed principles and concepts.

For Whom is It?

... for students, teachers, educators, trainers, animation designers, cognitive and educational psychologists, and anyone who wants to know how to benefit the most from explanatory animations.


  • Why this book?
  • When you can't see the forest for the trees.
  • What this book is and isn't about.
  • The focussed processes.
  • What char­ac­ter­izes ani­ma­tions?
  • Promises — How ani­ma­tions are supposed to facili­tate under­standing.
  • When the going gets tough — Why under­standing ani­ma­tions can be demand­ing.
  • Eyes wide open, minds on! How ani­ma­tions are success­fully processed.
  • What is it for? Why goals matter.
  • Display it properly! Design that promotes under­stand­ing.
  • Taking the user by the hand — Add-ons for user support.
  • Make me think! Tech­niques and strate­gies for cog­ni­tive user en­gage­ment.
  • Did I get it? Assess­ment for under­stand­ing from ani­ma­tion.
  • Up­coming: 3D.
A screenshot showing an example page of the book: text and a figure.

Psychological models and empirical findings.

A screenshot showing an example page of the book: an example animation.

Example animations.

A screenshot showing an example page of the book: an interactive exercise.

Interactive exercises.

A screenshot showing an example page of the book: a suggestion for further readings.

Suggestions for further readings.


Front view of an iPad Air and an iPad mini showing the book cover.

iPad Pro, iPad, and iPad mini with iOS 5 or later.
iPhone with iOS 8.4 or later.
iBooks 2 or later.

Front view of a MacBook Pro showing the book cover.

Mac with OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
iBooks 1 or later.

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