Animation has been with us since the invention of the moving image over a century ago. Longer if you include the flip-book into the equation. So it’s no surprise that in the internet revolution of the 21st century, animation would be poised to play such an increasingly important role in the way we experience the web. But we’ve been burned in the past with Flash animations being more of a detriment to web design than an advantage.
There are times to use animation, and times to use none. And we are learning all the time what the do’s and Don’ts are for this still new frontier. Here are 5 of them:
Interactivity and the internet are intrinsically linked with one another. And good, subtle animation techniques help amplify this aspect of the user experience.
When the mouse rolls over a button, and the button changes states to reflect this event, the inherent sense of satisfaction generated within the user, and the sense of transparency into the mechanics behind the navigation, go towards lubricating the journey through the website that they are browsing.
Animation also tends to make elements on a page pop out at the user. If it’s an element that is integral to the navigation of the site, making it animated will attract their attention to it.
This was the mistake has been made in the early days of the new millennium. Flash was used extensively, and while people knew that restraint is a virtue, they had no idea what constituted restraint in this realm. We all had to learn the hard way how excessive use of animated parts within a web page can hinder the usability of the site.
And it seems we have learned, and the roaring craziness of ten years ago has been replaced with a more cautious approach, as design usability has become more of a concern. We don’t want the user to be so overwhelmed with gimmicky graphics that they lose sight of the content and message that is being communicated.
Check out Google web designer features for more details.
A lot of web browsing is done on people’s smart phones. This again pertains to using techniques that don’t require large loading times. A nice animation on a desktop that won’t show on a smartphone will be a disaster for the success of the website.
Even now, animations in web pages have an effect on loading time. Sure, it’s not as bad as it was, but it’s still important not to have any superfluous animations that will needlessly slow things down. If it doesn’t need to be there, don’t put it there.