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Website Animations: When To Use Them & When They’re Too Much

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Websites today include animation as a standard feature, and they are there for good reasons. These animations, commonly known as user interface (UI) animations, range from image fades and hover effects to button transitions after clicking.

Website animations not only elevate the look and feel of a website, but they also serve as purposeful displays to encourage engagement for users.

Like a lot of things in life, a little goes a long way, and this is true with website animations. If your website is overdoing animations, they could distract your users and leave them confused. Let’s take a look at how you can utilize animations to enhance your website’s purpose and not to take away from it.

Examples of Website Animations

Modern website builders (including WordPress) give businesses countless options and opportunities to include fancy animations in their websites. Here are a few examples of when those come into play:

  • Parallax features that move as you scroll
  • Images that fade in or out
  • Text that changes as you scroll down a page
  • Buttons that change color when you hover with your cursor
  • Links that move when you click on them

Think of these like animations on PowerPoint presentations. They can add a nice effect and show that you know how to use all of the features. But they’re not helpful when they’re a distraction from your main message.

When Website Animation Makes Sense

When used properly, animations can add value on your business website. Here are some of the main ways to utilize animations for your website:

  • Showing what’s clickable: Take a look at the buttons on ARPR’s website. Notice how the orange buttons change from a light to a darker orange when you hover over them. This shows they’re clickable and will take you to a new page.
  • Loading animations: To keep engagement high and boredom low, it’s a good idea to use loading animations when pages or features are loading in the backend. Google has mastered these loading animations to beautifully and playfully convey that it is working hard to get the user what they need.
  • Added to Cart animations: eCommerce websites can take advantage of animations when people add items to their carts. Here’s a cool example of subtle, fun animation to confirm the website received your items.
  • Simple hover effects: These can add a nice touch to keep users engaged and interested.

When Animations are Too Much

Not all website developers stick with the basics. They’re tempted to throw in all of the bells and whistles to try and impress clients. This can be detrimental to a user experience for a few reasons.

Animations lose their impact if they are:

  • Too long: It may seem simple, but if your elements take too long to change, it could reflect poorly on your website’s speed. To keep maximum effectiveness, animations should be no more than a second long.
  • Too fast: Oppositely, animations that are too quick will seem abrupt and confusing. Don’t let your efforts be missed because the user blinked for a second!
  • Too flashy: Animations should delight your users and enhance the user experience, but don’t make them the “star” of your website. For example, having a random strobe light effect when someone clicks a link could deter your users from what you want them to do.
  • Too frequent: Again, animations should be used purposefully, so don’t go overboard with how many you use on the website. Clean, simplistic movements are going to elevate the look and experience of your website, and using an untasteful amount will take away from that.
  • Too large: Animations can be slower to load, and a slow loading site makes for a lousy user experience. Use animations in moderation so that their combined bulk doesn’t slow things down

When in Doubt, Remember the User Experience

The main goal when it comes to animations should be to make your website feel more responsive and intuitive to your users’ actions. When executed correctly, animations can help your audience reach their goals and feel connected to your content.

Your site’s animations should never distract, confuse, or frustrate your users, and they should encourage users to stay on your site longer, which will, in turn, help achieve your goals. Sometimes, less is more.

To learn more about website animations, get ahold of the GreenMellen team today!

About the Author

Brooke Desmond

Communications Manager
With a passion for all things digital marketing, Brooke aims to give a unique perspective on the latest trends and ideas in this ever-changing space.

View Brooke's Profile

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