he was saying that animations are not needed if the user already knows what to do without them.
That's a very different statement.
If the user needs the hint, they can be good. If the user doesn't need the hint, it's hard to see what value they provide at all.
The suggestion that you hold off on the animation until the user gives some indication that they need help (by not doing anything for a short time) is a pretty good one.
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