Animate prototypes

Learn how to create micro-interactions using auto-animate.

With auto-animate, you can create immersive transitions to visualize the movement of content across artboards.

Combined with the power of Drag and Time triggers, it helps you create a wide range of effects such as a YouTube swipe and drag to tell a better prototype story.

Ripple interactions in a website
Ripple effect in a website

Swipe and drag effect on a touch enabled device
Swipe and drag effect on a touch enabled device

To create an animated prototype, follow these steps:

  1. Before you begin, use these simple rules to understand how objects are handled during animation:

    • If an object isn't present on the destination artboard, it fades in.
    • If an object isn't present on the source artboard, it fades out.
    • If an object has a match both in terms of its layer name and its group, attributes are animated. For a comprehensive list of supported properties and transitions, read Object properties.
    • If you want to prototype a horizontal or vertical scroll effect, use scroll groups.
  2. Wire the artboards in the prototype mode. 

  3. Click the connector to view the interaction panel that appears in Property Inspector and set the following options:

    • Trigger: Select an option to trigger an animation. For example, to simulate a tapping card experience, select Tap. 
    • Action: Select Auto-Animate. You can now assign two actions in a single trigger such as Tap. To do so, set the first Action + button in the Property Inspector to TransitionAuto-AnimateOverlayScroll to, or Previous Artboard, and set the second Action + button to a non-transitional action such as Audio playback or Speech playback. Note that if you select Audio or Speech playback as the first action, you cannot add a second action.
    • Destination: Select the destination artboard to transition the animation.
    • Easing: Select an option to simulate easing effects. For example, select Ease Out if you want your animations to ease out from your prototype.
    Auto-animate workflow
    Auto-animate workflow

    A. Select the trigger type B. Select action to auto-animate C. Select the destination artboard D. Select easing effects 

  4. To define more interaction for an object, select the object with an interaction already defined, and click the + button on the artboard; alternatively, you can also click + on the Property Inspector.

     Remember that you can apply Tap, Drag, Hover, and Time triggers once, and VoiceKeys & Gamepad many times. 

  5. Select    preview your animations in supported browsers

     Remember that XD does not support scrolling when previewing auto-animated artboards.

Examples and sample files

Want to learn the nuts and bolts of auto-animate? Get started with this UI kit that has basic interactions, UI elements, drag examples, and much more.

You can also use more such sample files to test auto-animate.

Want to achieve a YouTube swipe effect without the hassle of timelines and key frames?

Wire up your artboards and select these options in the prototype Property Inspector:

  • Trigger: select Drag.  
  • Action: select Auto-Animate.
  • Destination: select the destination artboard to transition the animation.
  • Easing: select an option to create easing effects. For example, select Ease In-Out to ease in-out your animations from your prototype.

Do download the sample files and try them yourself or watch this video for more information.

Viewing time: 1 minute.

Want to learn how to create an animated mobile menu with an ease in effect? 

  1. Download the sample files.
  2. In the prototype mode, wire the hamburger menu to the home_expanded artboard and select the following options in the prototype Property Inspector:
  • Trigger: select Tap.  
  • Action: select Auto-Animate.
  • Destination: select the destination artboard to transition the animation.
  • Easing: select Ease In effect.
  • Duration: select the duration to 0.8 seconds.

Want to add advanced animations to your designs? Watch this video for working with After-Effects. 

Export from Adobe XD to After-Effects (Viewing time: 1 minute)

Learn more

To learn more about auto-animate in XD, watch this video.
Viewing time: 6 minutes

Adobe logo

Sign in to your account