A splash screen, or launch screen, is the first screen that the users will see when they open your app as it is the first graphical element displayed. A splash screen improves user experience as it gives them visual feedback that the app is launching. It will prevent users from feeling frustrated by a blank screen.
Why is it important to have a well designed splash screen?
The splash screen is also the first way you will show your branding. It will set the tone of the app and create a seamless transition to your content. Having a polished splash screen will establish brand recognition and give a professional first impression.
Why should you choose an animated splash screen?
Static and animated splash screens are both great to give the first professional look. However an animated splash screen will be significantly more engaging to your users :
- it can communicate the brand personality and style of the app through the animation's design, colors, and movement,
- it creates anticipation for user’s upcoming experience.
By doing this, you will build a strong brand recognition and make a memorable first impression. For example, we all remember Netflix animated splash screen because of how visually engaging and attention-grabbing it is. This splash screen primes us to enter into a specific mindset and mood associated with watching Netflix, which helps us remember the experience.
How to implement your splash screen?
Get an animated logo
First of all, of course you need an animated logo. You can chose any way you prefer to animate you logo but I would recommend to use a Lottie animated logo. Lottie provides a whole collection of animations. You can pick any of them to test these implementation
Lottie is a great way to easily implement animations into mobile and web applications. It is an open-source animation tool created by Airbnb that enables designers to create vector-based animations and export them as small, lightweight JSON files.
The JSON file will contain all the necessary animation data, including keyframes, paths, and colors. The JSON file is then interpreted by a Lottie library, which renders the animation in real-time on the device. With the library you will be able to further customize the animation in your code.
I will now provide you with 2 easy methods to create the splash screen.
Implement an easy animated splash screen with a modal
Let’s say you have a simple app that already contains a navigation container.
This is what your app would look like :
In both examples, we are going to use a very simple native splash screen. Then, when the react-native app loads, we will be displaying the animated splash-screen. In this first example we are going to use a modal to display our animated splash-screen.
First implement a very simple splash screen with no images and a background color that matches the one of your animation.
For example if you’re using expo, you can modify the file app.json
You can now create a modal that will contain your Splash screen. The two main tricks are :
- To close the modal once it has played once
- To add a fading animation
Now add splash-screen to your app :
You now have an animated splash screen when you launch your app !
This solution is very easy to implement, however we found out that with the modal solution, we can sometimes notice a tiny frame that contains your first screen and that appears before the modal opens. This is why we would recommend the second solution.
How to prevent the blank effect : Implement an animated splash screen with a first screen
Here we are going to implement the splash screen in a screen by itself, and we will navigate to the homepage once the animation is finished.
Create your splash screen :
The view that contains the screen may depend on your app. For us it is only a view with flex 1 and a set background color.
Add the Splash Screen to your navigation container:
- set the initial route to be your splash screen
- add a fading animation to the page you’re going to navigate to so that the splash screen integrates itself nicely to your application.
You can now enjoy your animated splash screen !
An animated splash screen can provide a number of benefits for enhancing user experience, such as setting the tone for the app and providing visual interest while the app launches. However, it's important to be mindful of the potential drawbacks, such as the possibility of a longer loading time for the first screen.
It is worth experimenting with both modal and fake screen approaches to find the best fit for your app ! If in the end you still prefer to implement a static splash screen to your react-native app, you should check out this article.
What team are you on : modal or fake screen?