You don’t need to overhaul your site to take advantage of animation. Just about any site can utilize basic animation in it’s loading sequence, calls-to-action, or navigation.
New web development capabilities allow for animations to be implemented easily. CSS3 has an entire library of animation functions that can be used on any element of the page. This means that animation is accessible to almost any website, and not just advanced web and mobile apps.
Here are some rules to follow when implementing animation into your digital designs:
1. Use loading sequences that keep users interested
Animation can keep the user engaged even before the website fully loads. This keeps users from leaving too soon. Even a 1 second increase in load time can equal a 7% loss in conversions. Animation can hide this load time by visually occupying the user.
Fast animation grab users’ attention. On the other hand, slower transitions draw less attention and allow the user to maintain his previous focus. A combination of fast and slow transitions occupy the user when he would otherwise be idle.
2. Animate based on where the user should focus
Animation influences a user’s eyes and it can control where they focus. This is great as long as the user’s eyes are on the right thing. When animation is in the wrong place or at the wrong speed, it becomes a distraction from the content.
Visuals that move onto the screen attract different amounts of attention based on their speed and location on the page.
A good example is a ‘Back to Top’ button. They allow users to jump back up to the menu after scrolling down the page and can either be a subtle functionality – or a complete distraction from the content.
3. Keep Users from getting lost
Users risk losing the context of what they are seeing if web pages change instantaneously. Animation can be used to make transitions more obvious, so it’s clear what happened between where the user started and ended up.
Clicking a link doesn’t always take you to a new page. Sometimes, it jumps you to a new position on the same page. If there’s no transition, this is confusing, and it isn’t clear that the page was automatically scrolled down. Animation shows how the user caused the action.
Animation can show where new objects are coming from. If a user sees new fields cascading down from where the user clicked, then he knows that he caused it to happen. When the new fields expand, there’s a clear indication that additional information is necessary.Animation can give visual feedback that shows when the site is working properly.
Animation is a useful supplement to content, and takes on a secondary role in making UX clearer. A site’s functionality, layout, navigation should be designed for usability, and animation should fill in the gaps. Investing in animation not only optimizes your current site, but gives you many UX options that you otherwise wouldn’t have, like complicated forms and long, scrolling websites. This gives you more control over the user experience as a whole.
If you would like to know more about combining animation and web design, contact here.