This article is inspired from Animating Vue JS by Sarah Drasner at JS Channel 2017.

Problem Statement - Why Animation?

Website UI Development is not about making things beautiful. It’s all about website performance and customer experience. According to studies from Amazon and Walmart, they discovered a drop of conversion rate/revenue on increasing the user interaction time as the user feels interrupted during the interaction. Another study discovered that a customised animated loader made a higher wait time and lower abandon rate compared to generic one as the user felt more interactive with the former loader.

In a nutshell, the animation of your application should be more interactive and engaging for the user, kind of like a cinema booking application and a form inside a location tag for example.

What is VueJS?

For those who are familiar with Angular and ReactJS, VueJS is a progressive JavaScript framework that supports some features:

  • A virtual DOM
  • Declarative Rendering
  • Computed properties
  • Reactive components
  • Conditional rendering … to name a few

Some of these features are quite similar to what Angular and ReactJS already provide. However, you can check its comparison with other frameworks.

Todo List Example

Let’s take a simple example of Todo list, containing a list of tasks with the functionality of adding/removing a task to/from the list.

This will be our view in HTML file, assuming that you’ve included VueJS in a script tag already.

<div id="app">
    <input type="text" v-model="task"/>
    <input type="button" value="Add" v-on:click="addTaskToList"/>
    <ul>
        <li v-for="(todo, index) in todoList">
            {{ todo }}
            <input type="button" value="Remove" v-on:click="removeTaskFromList(index)"/>  
        </li>
    </ul>
</div>

Meanwhile, our JS file looks like this.

var app = new Vue({
    el: '#app',
    data: {
        task: 'my first task',
        todoList : []
    },
    methods : {
        addTaskToList : function(){
            this.todoList.push(this.task);
        },
        removeTaskFromList : function(index){
            this.todoList.splice(index, 1);
        }
    }
});

The code itself is self-explanatory. It simply adds a task inside the todoList using addTaskToList method and removes from the list using removeTaskFromList.

The event binding and loops syntax in the HTML looks similar to what you see in AngularJS. However, the syntax of variables and methods is different in VueJS, which reminds you of private variables and public methods you used to code in C++. You can view the demo.

Let’s add more interaction in this. A confirmation pop-up should appear with OK and Cancel options. Regardless of the option chosen, the pop-up should be closed later on.

In HTML, let’s modify the list element

<li v-for="(todo, index) in todoList">
    {{ todo }}
    <input type="button" value="Remove" v-on:click="onRemoveTask(index)"/>
</li>

And add a new pop-up element

<div v-show="isPopupOpen">
    Are you sure you want to remove this from Todo List?<br/>
    <input type="button" value="OK" v-on:click="confirmRemove()"/>
    <input type="button" value="Cancel" v-on:click="cancelRemove()"/>
</div>

Meanwhile in JS, initialize new data variables inside

data: {
    isPopupOpen : false,
    currentIndex: -1
}

And also, add some methods

methods : {
    onRemoveTask : function(index) {
        this.isPopupOpen = true;
        this.currentIndex = index;
    },
    confirmRemove : function() {
        this.removeTaskFromList(this.currentIndex);
        this.isPopupOpen = false;
    },
    cancelRemove : function() {
        this.isPopupOpen = false;
    }
}

Let’s add some animation into it.

For the fading-in/out the pop-up, you need to wrap our pop-up inside transition tag.

<transition name="fade">
    <div v-show="isPopupOpen">
        … Pop-up element content
    </div>
</transition>

This element takes care of the transition logic. You don’t need to bother when to start or stop transition. All you’ve to mention is what kind of transition you want to see and for how long. This can be done using some CSS classes provided by VueJS.

.fade-enter-active, .fade-leave-active {
    transition: opacity 0.5s ease-out;
}

.fade-enter, .fade-leave-to {
    opacity: 0;
}

Note: The fade prefix used in this class should match the name attribute of the transition component.

For blurring the form and the list elements once the pop-up appears, they should be wrapped inside a contained conditionally bounded using v-bind attribute.

<div v-bind:class="[isPopupOpen ? 'disabled' : '', ‘container’]">
    … Form and Todo List element content
</div>

And add the required CSS

.container {
    transition: all 0.05s ease-out;
}

.disabled {
    filter: blur(2px);
    opacity: 0.4;
    pointer-events: none;  // This makes sure that nothing else is clicked other than pop-up options
}

You can check the complete code and view demo.

Advantages

  • Clean
  • Semantic
  • Maintainable

This is how you can create applications and make animations in more simpler and semantic way. However, you must have intermediate knowledge of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. If you think VueJS is promising, go ahead and try it out. There is much more that you will love to learn about. Check out the official documentation.