You may have noticed that animations on websites are starting to become more popular. In many ways this answers the question posed in the title itself –you’ve noticed these animations, they have caught your eye and stood out against the more static adverts or sites. If you want to make sure that your business is noticed and remembered, then incorporating animation or some form of movement within your website design is something to consider.
Motion attracts attention; in much the same way that you will spot the friend you’re meeting waving at you across the street, your eyes will naturally be drawn to movement on a webpage. By influencing the visual hierarchy of what gets noticed first on your website you can draw attention to a new product launch or special offer on your website; even the most subtle movement will draw the user’s focus.
How does animation help the user?
Animation or motion can also provide reassurance to your user that the site is processing their request or action. From the early Windows files flying across the screen during transfer, or a progress bar confirming that your download is ongoing, the user is confident that something is happening.
This reassurance can be used within your site for a site search, download or form submission. These actions should all be fast enough to retain the user’s attention without the need for animation, but the application of a small amount of motion confirms to the user that they’ve successfully interacted with your website and doesn’t need to keep pressing the ‘submit’ or ‘search’ button. Loading screen animations too can help to improve the user experience and engagement by giving them an estimation of their wait time, or even just keeping them entertained whilst they wait and reducing the risk that they will get impatient and bounce away.
The use of animation can also add a subtle but effective extra layer to your website. Hover animations can be used to highlight buttons or clickable links for example, this is clearer than a simple colour-change which we would traditionally see.
It is, however, vital that your site performance doesn’t suffer as a result of including animation. Your animations should work smoothly across all devices, and the primary purpose of your business’s website should be to give the consumer what they want as efficiently as possible. It is better to have no animation than to provide a poor user experience.