Of all the trends appearing in web design, animation is one of the most significant and most prominent in the future of website design. Animation has been around on the web for a long time, even back in the beginning of the internet in the 90s we were accustomed to small gifs, featuring clunky flashing images, over the top emojis and even the occasional dancing baby.
Back in the early days of the web these animations were used for primarily decoration or just for the fun of it, whereas these days animation can be used for both aesthetic reasons and also as a way to improve the usability and functionality of your website.
How can animation be used?
In many cases animation is used for attracting attention to details such as log in or sign in forms, call to actions and even your menu functions, drawing attention to these features and helping users make the right decisions about where to go or what to do next. As the human eye is drawn to motion this means that animation is the perfect way to control your visuals and the importance of certain visual elements over others.
Animations are commonly used to distract users from loading times or to add something fun during loading times, giving the impression that your website is still doing something even when it’s technically not. Using animation in your loading times can do one of two things either making your website and overall product seem more technological and professional or simply giving your visitors something fun to watch while they wait.
Hover animations are great for showing off an element that is clickable or can be interacted with in some way. Often when we’re visiting a website and in doubt over an element it’s likely we’ll hover the mouse over the element to find out if anything happens. If the element moves in some way when hovered over it’s a good indication that you can click on it, giving users the option to click to find out more and navigate to another part of the site.
Animated backgrounds are growing in popularity and can prove to be rather effective, however animated backgrounds need to be done correctly in order to work well. The key to an effective animated background is to keep it subtle, either by opting for a gentle background or only featuring one moving section it means that you can engage with users in a subtle way, attracting attention and also depending on your animation, reiterating a point.
With even gifs making a comeback on social media and messaging apps, it’s safe to say that by now animation has secured it’s place as in web design. With this is mind it’s very likely that in upcoming years animation will play an even bigger role in website and app design, bringing a number of new opportunities to both designers and businesses.
While you don’t need to rush to feature animation in your website design, it’s important to get an idea of how you can include animation in the future in order to keep your website fresh and up to date and ahead of your competition.