Effective Use of Animation on Websites

For any business wanting to get noticed online, you have to have great marketing content - something that grabs attention, engages an audience and leaves a lasting impression. This will ensure a greater chance of audience interaction and sharing.

Why Businesses Use Animation

Increasingly, organisations are using animation as a positive tool to express the nature of their business. Animation can deliver content in an immediate, accessible medium that shows the spirit of a brand in a way that surpasses reality.

Animation is not just about cartoons or children’s films - the world of digital marketing has taken the medium to a whole new level in an effort to engage with its target audiences.

Website Animation Example


Types of Animation

Delivered in 2D (flat environment), or 3D (three dimensional) media, the choice of which format to use is usually dictated by the type of message to be conveyed.

Uses for the animation include:

  • Animated advertisements
  • Using character animation where the traditional video is not suitable
  • Infographics to share statistical or narrative information
  • Using simple hover states or loading animations for a subtler effect


Can Animation be Overused or Unnecessary?

Animation which serves no purpose, or is just there because it looks good, doesn’t really add anything to the site or the user experience. Whether used minimally or extensively, animation should add value to the site. It should also be clear, visible and direct. It should not hamper the user’s interaction with the site, or cause disorientation through quick or sudden movements. Smooth transitions will look and feel more natural.

Website Animation Example 2


Designing and Using Animations

Animations can be distracting or enhancing depending on how they are designed and used. They are ideal for drawing attention to key areas or information on a site when presented in a smooth, flowing way. They should be treated as a secondary form of communication on the site and not be seen as essential – the user must be able to access the information in other ways in case they are not able to view animations for reasons such as another window blocking it from view or animations being turned off.

In Conclusion

Animations work best when they serve a purpose and enhance the user’s experience. The most effective animations give the illusion of interacting with real-world objects, becoming so natural that the user is not even aware of them and only miss them by their absence. Ensuring the message is clear is the top priority and as long as the animation is given the correct platform, it can be the difference between a good site and a really great site!

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