Your objective should be to carry the viewer through an idea. Use elegant motion, strong eye trace, careful use of sound effects, and—like everything else from the Zendesk Brand—clean, clear design.
Time it out
Remember that we want to move quickly, but clearly through the message. Pacing should give just enough information at the right time—without rushing or lagging. Make sure animation doesn’t compete with narration and sound effects. They should all complement each other.
Do it well
Commit to the details that add an extra level of polish and realism. Aim for more than just fading elements in or scaling up an illustration. And don’t rely on Easy Ease; finesse your motion curves to give nuanced, realistic easing.

Pro tip: Turn off motion blur so no one gets seasick watching your video.
Use animation principles
Principles like anticipation, overshoot, squash and stretch, and overlapped timing help us guide the eye and breathe life into rigid forms. But don’t overdo it—avoid cartoonish exaggeration.

Pro tip: Work smarter and use workflow plugins for After Effects.
Keep it simple
Don’t underestimate a well-executed, simple idea. You don’t need to animate every point in a sentence or paragraph. Focus on the most important ones.
We think this video is a pretty good example of all these points.

Use the behavior of real-life counterparts to inform your animation.

Avoid animating in a generic way that doesn’t correspond to the individual objects. It’s pretty boring.

We love the anticipation, overlapped timing, arced motion curves, and very subtle use of overshoot. This is top shelf.

This example uses excessive overshoot and doesn't employ anticipation, overlapped timing, and arced motion paths. The underlying idea still comes through, but the execution is clunky.

Screen capture
Prepare your computer
  • Use a laptop. Do not use an external monitor of any kind.
  • Open System Preferences > Displays and make sure that your resolution is set to Default for display
  • Download Chrome Extension: Open-as-Popup
  • Use Open-as-Popup to pop out the browser window you wish to capture.
  • Make this popped out browser window full screen.
  • Avoid moving your mouse to the very top of the screen during screencast as this will cause the top menu bar to appear.
Record in Screenflow, style in After Effects
  • After you have created your screen capture, export from Screenflow at full resolution and scale down in After Effects.
  • If you recorded the capture on a 15 inch macbook—scale it down to 50%
  • If you recorded the capture on a 13 inch macbook—scale it down to 55.5%
  • Add a drop shadow to your screencast with the following settings:
  • Shadow color: black; Opacity: 27%; Direction: +225°; Distance: 30; Softness: 120
  • Place the screencast is on a white background
  • If there are extra buttons below the gear in the left bar, remove them.
  • Also remove the icons between the chat icon and the search icon in the top bar. Move the search icon over next to the chat icon.
Mouse moves
  • In Screenflow, replace the mouse with this cursor.png and scale down.
  • If you are working on a 15 inch macbook—scale it down to 35%
  • If you are working on a 13 inch macbook—scale it down to 31.5%
  • Alternatively, turn the mouse opacity all the way down in Screenflow and recreate the mouse moves in After Effects.
  • If you want to focus on a specific portion of the UI, zoom in on it in After Effects. Don’t use the mouse to point at or draw attention to elements.
Do it well
  • Perform a practice run-through of your recording before you record.
  • Practice your mouse moves and actions. Try as best you can to go from point A to point B in a straight, steady motion.
  • Try to avoid buttons with flashy hover state animations.
  • Edit out latency and lag times between pages and state changes.
It should look like this
Technical assets guide
Zendesk logo
You can read general rules for how to treat our logo here.
When to use the Z in film
  • As an intro to brand your video—we usually put it on screen for 2.5 seconds, but you can adjust this to fit the pacing of your video.
  • Use it as an outro unless you have a CTA, product logo, or event title.
How to use the Z in film
  • Default to using the kale on white version unless you have a strong reason to use kale as the background color.
  • Using the alpha channel lockup on top of footage is another option, especially for event videos. Make sure there is plenty of contrast between the footage and the Z. You can also hard cut from the Z on footage to the Z on solid color when your footage is done.
  • Feel free to use a still version of the logo if it better fits the pacing of your video.

Do not use the Zendesk wordmark as a video title. Be sure you have enough contrast when placing titles over footage.

Do not manipulate our animated logo lockups in any way (including: position, rotation, scale, timing, or opacity).

Asset templates
Customer Stories: if you are making a customer story video, end the film with this lockup. Lower Thirds: if creating lower thirds, use this template. You’ll need SharpSans.

Place the lower third in a well-contrasting area. If the background of your scene is too light, change the color of the lower third to kale #03363D.

Do not place the lower third in a cluttered or low-contrasting area.