Animating the Virtual DOM

A presentation at React Europe in in Paris, France by Sarah Drasner

We are biologically trained to notice motion: evolutionarily speaking, our survival depends on it. For this reason, animation when done well can guide your users. It can aid and reinforce spatial maps of our interfaces, and give us a sense that we understand interactions more deeply. For this reason, animation is incredibly powerful to convey meaning, but only when done well.

But animating the virtual DOM comes with some intricacies that affect our implementations. In this talk, we’ll go over animating in React with a variety of methods, comparing and contrasting each. We’ll cover add-ons like ReactCSSTransitionGroup, using external libraries like GSAP, React-Motion, motion using RxJS, and transitioning state with D3. We’ll look inside some real systems, breaking down how we can create reusable components of animation principles for interchangeable yet cohesive patterns.



The following resources were mentioned during the presentation or are useful additional information.