Why interactive web animations are the future

Why interactive web animations are the future

How does an image come to life?

First, we should know what an animation is before we look at its use in web design. Simply put, the animation is a sequence of frames that create a moving image. To get a fluid movement, about 20 frames per second are required. In technical jargon, this is called FPS, which means "frames per second". The epitome of animation is the well-known flipbook, which most people may be familiar with.

The medium of animation stands for the expression of creativity and the artistic freedom to tell surreal and imaginative stories. Whether talking animals, flying houses or even newly invented figures brought to life. The medium fascinates and convinces not only children but also adults. Animated series such as "Family Guy", "the Simpsons", or "Rick and Morty" speak for themselves.

© giphy.com

Concrete advantages for the use of moving images

We now know that animations are particularly entertaining and open up a new creative scope. But what are the concrete advantages of an interactive website and the use of animation?

  • A person's attention is first directed to a moving image and not to static objects.
  • Through properly used animations, users are guided in advance on how to properly use a homepage.
  • Animations tell emotional stories better and easier by visually captivating the viewer.
  • Complex topics are more accessible to explain through images rather than complicated and long texts.
  • Users of a site can take control of what is happening.
  • Used in a targeted way, they increase visitor engagement, which lengthy and complicated texts are less able to do.
  • Content is clicked on with a probability of 2 out of 3 times, because the user's curiosity is increased by an active image.
  • The average time spent on a web page is one minute, depending on the content. Creative and interactive animations increase this time up to 15 minutes.
  • The probability increases that visitors share the page and revisit it.
  • The bounce rate is minimized because the content does not bore the viewer. The incentive to explore the homepage as much as possible is increased.
  • Credibility, quality and overall impression increase.
  • Important information and messages that are conveyed visually can be better processed and perceived.
  • A visit to a site becomes an experience
  • And finally, animations are decorative and fun to look at or interact with

In short: properly used animations and interactivity improve the function of a website. They show users quickly, effectively and visually how they can use a page. In addition, a visit becomes an experience that can last longer and, last but not least, lingers longer in the memory. It is essential not to forget that every action triggers a reaction. It is precisely this knowledge that you can use specifically to arouse the desired emotions in your counterpart. After all, our brain perceives 60 % of information purely through sight.

© giphy.com

Numerous possibilities to get creative

Now we know the advantages of interactive web animation and are ready to put the knowledge into action. There are various concepts and elements that you can incorporate into your website. However, these are by no means all the possibilities you have; there are no limits to creativity. I will now present the most popular options to give you a brief overview.

Motion Graphics; animated graphic elements

The simplest explanation of "motion graphics" is graphics that move. These have the same function as ordinary animations; graphic elements like a logo come to life. They are easy to implement and instantly make your homepage look a little more exciting with the same intention of arousing an audience's interest, making something clear and understandable, entertaining and looking good.

Continuous stories

Most "scrollytelling" pages are one-pagers that tell a story through linear scrolling with a beginning and an end. This eliminates the need for navigation elements, banners, sidebars and other elements and does not distract from the story. Text, image and video become one big concept. By scrolling, viewers are led through the plot piece by piece.

Moderating characters are our friends

The talking characters, which moderate actions, are an animation element that leads the viewer by the hand through the content. They can speak directly or casually, mention or explain things. In doing so, one feels accompanied and not abandoned. Complex processes can be gone through together step by step and ensure that everyone understands them. Another advantage is that you build up a special bond and a kind of personal relationship develops.

Parallax scrolling, what is it?

In "parallax scrolling", the objects in the foreground and background are not on the same plane. An action by a person causes the elements to move at different speeds. Usually, the background element moves slower than the element in the foreground. A 2-dimensional image immediately appears as detached and three-dimensional. The triggering of a movement can be done by scrolling or mouse movements of the user. Movements of the user and involves the interactivity between the web page and the viewer again.

Are explainer videos still relevant?

Complex topics, messages and information are often easier to explain visually with the help of a short explainer video. Content can be presented to viewers playfully and interestingly. In addition, a fast and informative explainer video attracts much more attention than a complicated and extended text. The disadvantage of an explainer video is that it is the most popular way to implement animations in web designs. Therefore, I advise you to choose a unique and appropriate animation style to tell a captivating and emotional story.

 

Why smooth transitions are highly relevant

The human eye is designed to perceive smooth transitions as pleasant. Choppy or halting changes should be avoided as much as possible because they irritate or give the feeling of a mistake. Transitions such as wiping, fading color gradients, reducing the size of elements improve the user experience and make the website appear successful and pleasant. The more fluid everything is, the less risk there is of losing focus on the desired part.

The subtleties of micro-interactions

To achieve an optional user experience for a web design often leaves small gaps that make the page feel incomplete. Micro-animations such as a flashing call-to-action button or a fly-in image element can fill these gaps. It is essential to find the balance between too low and too much. It often helps to ask outsiders what the homepage looks like to them.

Supporting sounds

Another essential element is the sound of an animation. For me personally, this is optional but can be the icing on the cake. With the right sound, you can get the most out of animation and support the visual message. You can be completely free to be creative with it, and it's ideal for making the user experience as great as possible.

Loading times with a difference

By loading a page, there can be long waiting times, depending on the amount of data. It is precise during this time that you should attract the target audience and their interest in the homepage. As soon as people get bored, there is a danger that they will leave the website. Nobody likes to be bored, so even waiting should become an experience. There is an opportunity to present your own brand personality and, depending on the situation, even entice viewers to smile.

© giphy.com

My last words

Personally, I could spend hours on interactive websites with animations and "motion graphics" and talk/write about them forever. But now, it is time to draw a line under this spectrum. Technical change and progress keep us all on our toes, and so does storytelling, animation and interaction on websites. Therefore, I would like to encourage you to take a step into this world. Artistic freedom and creativity are limitless, and it's fun to live them out on the World Wide Web.

Natalie Kost

Intern as UX / UI Designer

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