In recent years, the use of incorporating animation and stop-motion into web design has been on the increase. Initially taking shape in the early 2000s, with designers using flash extensions, the methods of incorporation have become a lot more simple with time; you can now buy website templates with the ability to use animation with just a simple click. Designers have been experimenting with everything from minimal hover effects to full-screen moving images, which give a site a contemporary, interactive feel, with even the most rudimentary sites seeing the aesthetic benefits.

Chiefly due to the smoothing over of obstacles that hindered designers from using animation to its best effects, the trend has given rise to some stunning sites. However, it’s inevitably brought about some truly awful designs. There are a few simple methods that can help one avoid these design flaws. As Carrie Cousins writes in Design Shack, “The key to animation as a design trend is moderation. Small, simple animations are engaging and interesting; the user might not even think about their being an animation at all. Large-scale animations can be an interesting visual that pull you into the design. But if you start mixing up too many different moving effects, it can cause complete chaos.”

Night time lighting

Does animation fit your unique brand?

You also have to consider whether your brand, or business will really benefit from a site with animation. In Custom Fit Online, Ben Groulx writes about the pros and cons of using animation in site design. There’s some specific elements you need to consider before jumping into animation. Ben explores the key things to consider, “Does the animation hinder or reduce the usability of the website or app? Will the animation require extra resources (i.e. extra code/images) that will increase the load time, thereby harming the user experience? Does the animation improve the user experience of the site in a functional or delightful way? and is it even possible to create the animation using modern programming?”

The beauty of animations within web design is that it brings to life a formally static site, increasing user interaction and pleasure. Over at Lemonstand, Matt Ellis writes about the future of animation – “Animation is no longer optional. As technology continues to progress, animation will become more ingrained into the very fabric of web design. Web animation is already starting to infiltrate new, more professional industries, such as legal and medical. The increasing usage of animation is not for the same entertainment reasons that makes it popular for kids — more industries are using animation because it’s as practical as it is fun.”

Adam Parrish
Owner and creative director at Creative Freedom Ltd. Unbelievably cool icon design expert, husband, and father of two awesome girls. A proper decent chappy and thoroughly fab to work with. Ok, so I wrote my own bio…

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