Animation is one design element that’s both practical and fun. If done right, it can hold the user for a little longer, convey key message and add great value to user experience. To the reprieve of web developers, animations can be a powerful cover up for certain flaws, like slow loading speed. I will get back to this later in the write-up.
The converse is also true. If you pick an animation that’s patched on to the site out of context just as a pretty layover, it could be a distraction to your visitor. Also for how long you can afford to beam the same piece of motion and how frequently, should be well thought of to get an edge with this technique.
As Web Design Trends adapt to strike better balance between UX and function, digital marketers and developers have mastered subtle elements and tweaks to engage users with delightful animations. Here’s a quick rundown of how you can tap the true potential of animation with both style and purpose.
Load Screen Animation
I may sound clichéd, but yes, loading time sucks. You may slip in a short, crisp animation to distract the user from loading screen. The key rule here is to invite the gaze naturally and not force it down.
Load time animation won’t lighten up a content-heavy site but it rids the user of a repulsive wait. For example, you might have noticed how Uber app subtly uses an animated “drop” to catch visitors’ attention, literally pinning their focus while the screen loads up imperceptibly.
More importantly, such skillful welcome says a thing or two about your attention to little things, which might impress your visitors and encourage further interaction.
Instead of putting out animation in plain, traditional way, you can make it interactive and drive user engagement. For example, the Tiger Challenge campaign relies on a story animation to create awareness about the declining numbers of this magnificent cat.
The animation prompts the user to scroll to take the story forward, and in this way, keeps them engaged unless they reach the call to action. Hardly a 15-second exercise generates a lasting impact as it involves user participation, invoking a sense to act further towards the noble cause. This style of using animation works across a range of sites from e-commerce platforms to company websites.
Animated notifications can be a smart way to share an update with the user without intruding the experience. More than enhancing the fun quotient of an interaction, animated notifications can be integrated in design to serve clever functions unnoticeably.
For example, online photo gift retailer Photojojo flashes a “+1” animation across the screen when a user adds an item to the cart. This visual feedback is not only delighting but it also forgoes the need to redirect the user to checkout page, thus keeping the shopping session uninterrupted. With a single shot, you hit two targets!
Short stories bundled into animations are gripping to the visitors, and can be particularly sharp if you wish to add a character to your site or app. You can dish out content in a subtle manner, breaking the monotony of long scrolls.
APPS, a brand of hard cider, makes good use of this technique. By running a storytelling animation that vividly shows how the company makes its refined cider, the site creates an experience while pouring the information in as fluid a form as its offering.
Hover animation can be a useful tool when you have slotted primary and secondary information. When the user mouses over the content, secondary information is revealed in a less abrupt manner.
This technique lends a unique character to your site but doesn’t necessarily nudge the user to engage with your content. A better option is to try “click-to-reveal” approach that dishes out the primary information only when the user clicks on specific points.
Animation with Collapsing Menus
Collapsing or dropdown menus are used when you want to hold back some information to save screen space. Many a times, dropdowns shoot out abruptly, creating visual hiccups. Reworking the dropdown with some animation that could slow up the collapse and expansion, for example as Cabedge site does, can be functionally engaging.
The above-mentioned examples are yet another reminder of how animations can breathe life into a site or app with a touch of realism and interaction. You can organize complex content around simple graphic elements and smoothly ferry the visitors to your key message.
Besides arousing a sense of excitement in the user, the level of finesse in this piece of art also demonstrates your craftsmanship, which is indeed a good beginning to eventually extracting a desired action. But, as the best Web Designing Agencies in India put it, you wouldn’t want to be guilty of overdoing.
Anurag Gupta is a budding entrepreneur with stakes in WeblinkIndia.net an acclaimed Web Designing & Development Company, headquartered in India. He also happens to be a keen writer, sharing insights, tips, and tutorials on subjects related to the ever evolving landscape of Web Designing and Development.