Ads on the street. Videos on our mobile devices. The never-ending scroll of our social media feeds. Let’s face it: our lives are filled with an overwhelming amount of visual engagement, each competing for our attention. The result: companies are scrambling to find strategies to hold users’ attention in such competitive climates.
Used to further convey a brand’s message and vision, underscore specific information, or simply move elements in an engaging way – animation is a tool web designers can implement to grab and hold users’ attention and keep them engaged.
Here are six ways website animation increases user experience:
In addition to aesthetics, using animation can improve performance. Animation also helps to path users to key areas, enabling them to better understand how a site works, what is necessary to complete a task, and clear ways to show user’s where to click.
Animation helps users navigate your site. Period. By categorizing a website into distinct sections, and using seamless navigation transitions such as screen overlaps and vanish-able menu items, sites can conserve page space and increase accessibility. The “less is more” philosophy applies to web animation; using simple transitions helps maintain viewer’s attention. Users stay engaged through navigation, which will inevitably keep users on the site longer. Nic Casey, Big Drop’s Creative Director, stated the following:
Great design is invisible, in that it should complement the user experience to the point of seamlessness. When thinking of interaction design, it is important not to use animations and micro-interactions purely for the sake of doing so, but instead to help guide the user through the website intuitively, illuminating the next pathway in a meaningful, unobstructed way.”
Long loading times are a main factor that pushes users to switch to other websites. Implementing preload animation as a temporary solution, try adding animated material to distract people from a longer load time.l This is known as progression animation – it helps influence the perception of time, giving users the illusion that the waiting time is not as long as it actually is.
A crucial part of any digital presence is having a credible website. To have a credible website it’s important to provide users with quality content that is reliable and factual. Animation is a great tool to help the information resonate. Strong, meaningful animation can go a long way with users, and we all know an enhanced look-and-feel doesn’t hurt user experience.
Storytelling is a great way to create connections with users. The use of animation can help tell a brand’s story in a creative, engaging way. Further, it can vivify products and services, creating more ways for users to interact with a site. If a website’s content is too verbose, using narrative animation techniques to help users easily digest information in a comprehensive and compelling way is a valid approach that always beats boring text.
Using animation always helps brands stand apart from their competition, and in special cases, within the zeitgeist. Attracting attention has a dual purpose: it grabs attention and supports users’ actions. Because of this, it’s an excellent method for encouraging users to take action and consequently increases conversion rates. Not only does animation offer brands a way to distinguish themselves, but it does not have to be overt in its application. Consider adding animation in more subtle ways to site components like forms, CTAs, feedback areas, and menus.
The bottom line is…
Whether your business is new online or has been operating for a while, take advantage of everything animation can offer. Videos and other visual elements are powerful marketing tools that can help deliver a brand’s narrative separately from copy, and better communicate its offerings. Animation also enables a direct, more personal method of communication with target audiences and is commonly used to offer rewards, promote social media channel-sharing, and boost customer loyalty. We’re all for it (when used appropriately, of course!)
Here are some of our favorites: