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Don’t Be Afraid To Animate Your Website

When people hear the word ‘animation’, they usually think about cartoons, moving images, and lag. Unfortunately, loading time problems have almost been synonymous with utilizing special effects, that a lot of websites have refrained from using them at all. Sad really. Since there are plenty of advantages to incorporating moving imagery to a web page.

 Why Corporate Websites Avoid Animations

  • They think it will affect website performance when it comes to loading speed.
  • Hiring a web design specialist for such purposes are expensive.
  • Animations are not part of the web design package they purchased.
  • They don’t see any reason or purpose for using it.
  • They feel that it’s too childish or unprofessional.

There are several more misconceptions about web animations [Tweet Me!], but these are the most popular. Although a few are true (some web designers do charge extra for special effects – but it all depends on the kind you want); it doesn’t necessarily mean that corporate sites should do away with it entirely.

What Animations Can Do For You

In the end, it’s about user experience. Contrary to the notion that animations are just for show, they can have many functions based on intent.

The best example would be Apple’s website. They don’t really go big on animation; but their mastery of transitions and parallax scrolling is highly effective. Take a look at their iPhone 6 page. The typography will gradually fade in to introduce the product; while the phone image will slowly tip forward so you can view the screen. All of these add up for a dramatic finish.

Take note that the animations they chose didn’t affect load time or scrolling experience. It was all seamless. However, every aspect was delightful because it wasn’t just the everyday, boring, bland thing users see all the time in most websites. There were animations that drew you in because they contained a link, there were some that presented instructions, and transitions that were meant to instruct.

Animations are nothing without reason or purpose. Give them one and they will serve you better.

 Common Types of Website Animation

Transitions

These are the very basic and simplest effects to create on a web page. These include fade, drop down, auto-hide, and change in color. Can often be seen on menus, images, and sidebars, they breathe a bit of life to an otherwise bland layout. If done seamlessly, they can add to the total user experience (UX).

Sliding Content

This type of animation is extensively utilized for images and product samples. The most popular would be the carousel, also known as dynamic sliding content or content sliders for short. This lets a user scroll through each new item horizontally, while hiding the older viewed ones from the list. Some websites use this technique not only for images, but also for videos as well as downloadable content (like PDF).

2D Animations

This can be seen in more creative websites such as gaming, software, production, and visual arts. These days though, they are slowly being replaced by video, CSS3 and HTML5. However, the impact of 2D animation can still be competitive.

GIFs

Graphics Interchange Format or GIF for short, is widely-used today for both animated and static images due to its portability. As it’s basically a compressed file, there’s no need to worry about lagging issues. Although it’s being slowly replaced by CSS on web pages, it’s still a better alternative than flash animation.

Which Animation Is Best For Web Design

The truth is, ALL of them can be used for web design.

The trouble begins with implementation. The key to creating excellent animated web pages is consistency. Everything must flow smoothly, from one transition to the next, so the user doesn’t have to wait or feel annoyed at the outcome. Imagine having to wait for 5 to 10 seconds before an animation loads up onscreen. That can be bothersome and add friction to the overall design.

As a web designer, pick one or two types of animation that you can integrate into the design. Follow these main tips in mind to ensure you’ll be getting more out of those transitions:

  • The chosen special effect should serve a purpose.
  • Make sure the animations reflect the client’s business.
  • Check the tools you will be using to create the animation.
  • Weigh the pros and cons of using such special effects.
  • Verify that it won’t bog down or overpower the rest of the web elements.
  • Conduct testing on various platforms to ensure smooth user experience.

Final tip: modern web design is veering more on minimalism due to technological and lifestyle changes. Always opt for the simplest solutions first before selecting something more complex. After all, often, the most beautiful elements are those that seem inconspicuous. Take a look at your website and see if maybe a redesign is in order.

Get in touch with your local New York web design agency today and ask them about their animation practices.

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