Engagement. It’s a buzzword for any brand in 2018. As online story-telling and product-selling barriers melt away thanks to user-friendly CMS options like WordPress and other affordable eCommerce platforms, people’s attention has become harder to secure – and hold.
Adding a little eye-catching motion can help with that. From animated logos to simple hover effects to custom loading-page graphics, original animations have become an indispensable way to convey information or a bit of personality.
Here are six reasons to hone your animation skills.
1. Introduce yourself with a bang.
From Uber to Skype, brands are using animated logos to express their individuality and set the tone for the user experience. Fiverr’s new range of e-learning courses, Learn From Fiverr, includes a course on creating animated logos with Adobe After Effects, so you can design compelling logos to suit any client – or yourself.
2. Facilitate interaction between the site and the user.
Animation isn’t just novelty gifs and attention-grabbing graphics (although we love both of those things). It can make the way visitors are meant to use the site clearer, as well as lead them deeper into it. Think of the progress animations in programs like TurboTax that tell you which parts of the process you’ve completed – and which are still to come. Or form entries that tremble when you’ve entered the wrong value or forgotten to fill out a field. These types of animation provide valuable information in a concise, intuitive way.
3. Take advantage of a lighter alternative to video.
4. Amp up a custom illustration.
Custom illustrations – cartoons, infographics, and more – are another recent web design trend. Images like these show the personality of a brand and, well, illustrate what you’re trying to explain to your visitors. Adding animation to illustrations amps up their entertainment value and can help these valuable design elements speak even louder.
5. Get more information across quickly.
A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but, more importantly, images can be processed by the brain in just 13 milliseconds, according to an MIT study. So a multi-frame animation can convey more information to the user while taking up the same real estate that a static photo or a lengthy block of text would, allowing your site to pack more punch.
6. Provide important feedback to mobile users.
Again, the lighter weight of most animation effects makes them easier to include in mobile designs than elements like video. Vector animation, which is increasingly done via SVG images, is especially scaleable and can be used to change menu icons once they’ve been clicked on. Or think of the almost ubiquitous “pull down to refresh” mobile animation. Options like these, which let the user know their action has been recorded, are particularly welcome on smaller touchscreens, which lack the feedback from a mouse click or keyboard.
Freelancers, do you find animation useful and engaging? Tell us in the comments!