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Balancing Animation Use In Web Design: How Much Is Too Much?

Website animation can be a powerful tool for increasing website engagement, but it has to be used with care. Add just enough to your page and you create an appealing visual effect, but add too much and you’ll end up with a chaotic, overwhelming site. It’s all about balance.

How do you know how much animation to use on your website? These 4 tips can help you hit that sweet spot.

Consider Context

Context should be one of your primary considerations when using animations on your website – while you might be able to get away with a few subtle motions on a professional site, pages targeted to children or designed for events can typically handle a greater level of action.

Consider this comparison. The page for the Goa Kite Flying Festival, for example, is abuzz with animation, featuring people preparing their kites, the local landscape, and even the nearby waterway. It’s colorful, fun, and embraces the character of the event.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, this website on credit repair uses subtle animation to keep the page active and interesting without being overwhelming. When you scroll down on the page, you’ll notice that the header gently shrinks in size. It’s the only bit of animation on the site, but it offers a key aspect of the page measured prominence depending on what you’re doing.

Mind The Speed

One problem with animations is that, like large pictures, they can slow down your website. Users hate a slow page and if your site takes more than a few seconds to load, you’ll have virtually no readership – and then the quality of your animations won’t matter in the least. To this end, make sure that your animation files are small enough not to impede your site and trim back the number if your page starts to stall.

Pick Your Platform

Animations may be a highly visual aspect of your site, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to pay attention to what happens behind the scenes. In fact, the platform and code supporting your website are absolutely vital to how well your animation features function. Strong options for animation-heavy websites include Parallax and SVGs in base64. Parallax is especially popular and you’ll see it on many pages with transforming elements and continuous scroll.

Animation And Interaction

If you’re interested in pushing the limits of website animation, then the answer may be interactive animation. It’s one thing to include animation features that respond to basic actions like scrolling, but animations that demand further user engagement; they take the passive process of reading a website and turn it into an activity.

One problem with interactive animation is that it sometimes frustrates users who view it as excessively demanding and even as over-animation. This site from Nguma, for example, allows you to interact with a character but it’s also liable to make the reader dizzy as the background spins and the character dances around. It’s a lot to take in if you just want to know about Nguma’s strategy development offerings.

Is your website ready for the animation treatment? It can take time to perfect, to pare back that exciting idea to something more manageable, but animation is the design trend of the future. If you can master the process now, your company can establish itself as a trendsetter.

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