Website design is more than a visual display. Web design is about interaction. Animations can influence behavior, guide attention, and boost your site’s overall user experience. They are created to improve usability and pull a visitor’s focus to the important calls-to-action on the page.
The word “animation” comes from the Latin word “anima” which means “soul”. Animations are about adding soul to your website.
Movement tells stories, creates transitions, explains relationships between elements, and highlights actions. Good animations are a natural part of a website design, conceived to enhance your marketing visuals and create an intuitive connection between the user and the site. The ultimate goal is not so much to entertain your fans as to help them understand how to navigate your site most effectively without even thinking about it.
Below are examples that illustrate ways of adding animations to improve your online user experience and interface (UX/UI).
Enjoy the Wait
Waiting for a page to open can be a fun experience. If we cannot shorten the wait, we need to invent ways to make loading more entertaining. Animation can be used to distract users and make waiting seem less than it actually is.
Users that have something interesting to watch while your content is loading will ultimately feel more engaged with your brand.
Animation can enhance the sense of web navigation. For example, an icon can smoothly transition from one role to another by changing its colors or words. The effect informs users about the button’s function and adds an element of adventure to the website. Transforming a play icon into a pause button shows users the two actions are interconnected.
Good animations help visualize your brand’s story. They also manipulate timing to give users the right emotional meaning and perception. The experience should be seamless and logical, intertwined with the visitors’ movement through the site. The right animations should gently nudge your audience to follow a deliberate interactive path like pressing a button or opening a new page.
A good way to integrate storytelling is to mirror the film and animation industry. You can look for inspiration in the book “Illusion of Life: Disney Animation” by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, which provides the framework for most of the animations we see today. Some of the principles mentioned in it are- the art of timing, how to stage action, create anticipation, where to exaggerate elements, or how to time your animations. A great web design can use all of those elements in order to stand out and draw the audience to your brand.
What makes animation trendy is realism. In today’s design landscape users need hints that guide them on what to do. Small, simple animations are engaging and interesting; the user might not even realize there is an animation at all. It’s those little bits and pieces that people discover as they start interacting with your site. Those small interactions are just accents that can direct visitors through a site without changing the aesthetics. In this case, intuitive animations create a happy marriage between simplicity and usability.
Large-scale animations can be a great asset as well. If designed in an interesting way, they have the power to pull visitors into the design. Often in the form of a video, large-scale animations can fill a significant portion of the screen. These types of animations serve as a focal point in the overall design as long as you do not mix too many different moving elements together.
Mixing contradicting dynamics can create chaos. In the example below, colorful chaos was what the design is going for. This time on purpose. In order to capture the dazzling nature of fireworks, our team designed a kaleidoscope of colors and movement.
The opportunity with every trend in website design is knowing how to use it. Animations are a fantastic way to breathe life into your web presence. The trick is to make them seamless, intuitive, and smooth. They need to serve a purpose, increase usability, and spotlight your content.
Choreographing animations is really important, as timing is everything. It takes a lot of experimentation and testing to get the right feeling your brand is trying to convey.
Let’s animate your website together and create a lively experience your users will fall in love with. To consult with us, say firstname.lastname@example.org.