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Animated transitions are widely used in many different domains of human activity, ranging from cartoons and movies to computer science for powerfully conveying a message more effectively and efficiently about a phenomenon of interest. This paper reviews a series of techniques for defining, analyzing, and exploiting animated transitions in different types of interactive information systems. A general conceptual model is provided that explicitly links a model of an interactive information system, its model elements and relationships to animated transitions in order to adequately reflect any change of the model into animated transitions. Two instantiations of this conceptual framework are discussed: animated transitions for representing adaptation of the graphical user interface of an interactive system, along with its implementation; and animated transitions between user interface views during development life cycle.