12 Killer Ways to Improve Website UX with Animation

by Keval Padia on October 10, 2016

This article is more than six months old, and some specifics have likely changed.

12 Killer Ways to Improve Website UX with Animation

Life always refers to action and motion. Naturally, a website is livelier when it utilizes moving objects to attract visitors. The convention of using motion and animation is not completely unheard of in web design, though for some time it gained renewed importance. But while using animation there are few important things to remember.

First of all, using animation for only a cool or eye catchy look and feel be distracting, but when used properly, it can really make a positive difference as well. Secondly, using animation does not require changing the entire site design. You can use animation for simple actions like loading sequence, CTA and navigation.

Here we will introduce 12 killer ways to improve website UX with animation.

1. Use animation when page loads

In early days of web design at times when pages were loading users had to wait with a blank screen in front of them with a blinking cursor. In these days, seeing such blank page users may altogether leave the page believing that your website is not loading at all. To make them stay you can inform about the loading with an animated figure. Anywhere where users need to wait like for change in language or something like that, such animation let them stick to it.

2. Animation used in navigation

Easy navigation is crucial to ensure user-friendliness of any website. Animation used properly can make navigation cleaner, precise and attention grabbing. For instance, using an animation used on the mouse cursor can tell users to scroll further.

3. Animation used as per user focus

Animation makes an influence on the user’s attention and his movement of eyes. Now used effectively, it can control the areas where users focus. The speed of the moving animation is also important to guide attention properly.

An animation used in the ‘Back to Top’ button can easily guide users to jump back to the menu instantly as soon as scrolling down has been finished. The only thing that you should take guard against while using this, is the visual distraction from a too eye catchy animation.

4. Smooth transition between web pages

Animation can play a great role in allowing a smooth transition between pages. As the users navigate through the site from one page to another they can navigate just by being guided by animated figures.

Just by selecting the tabs on the navigation, an animation guides you to the next slide which is no less attractive a way to make users move from one page to another.

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5. Inform users

It is definitely going to be frustrating for users if something does not work after it shows. In such cases to let users know about the status, animation can be used to confirm. Such unresponsive actions can be anything ranging from a web transaction to submitting a contact form or opening a product catalogue. Hover state is a great way to allow such effects. For example, by hovering over the tab by the user it can be highlighted to confirm that the desired action has been registered and being responded.

6. Enhance the image of your brand

Animation can play a great role in enhancing the overall web design and a help you stand out among the crowd of apps. The web design always looks less flat and more feature rich with animation and consequently it can convey professionalism of your business. An animation carrying brand specific attributes can do this better. While standing out in the crowd with a distinct look and feel is your motto, animation can be your best alley.

7. Use unlimited scrolling

Infinite scrolling pages are felt like single page websites and they use motion as an integral as well as crucial part of their design. Instead of making users click on links just by scrolling on the users can get to all different sections. In such websites with users scrolling down the page, the content of the website sections continues to load and appear before the users. This is one way of using motion in your web design and can offer simple and elegant interface depending on your business.

8. Motion elements for numeric and graphic content

You can add animation effects in various elements like graphs, numbers, and charts as users continue to scroll. This type of motion element helps to make data livelier. By allowing data to appear motion you can also let users experience the changes occurred over time. Finally, it is the most engaging and interactive way to represent dry numbers and numeric and graphical data to the users.

Though you cannot use such animated graphs and numbers not very liberally in business websites where such numeric elements have a dominance in contents it can be a great way to present them reduce friction.

9. Background videos

Background videos are one of the most popular design trends now. This motion element just at first sight helps to offere a lively view of the site content. Normally the video is used in the background while the page title comes overlaid over it. This helps to make web content come to life easily. All you need to do is to loop a short video in the background through a helpful plugin. There are also themes which allow doing this with least effort.

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10. GIFs

GIFs these days became a big trend on the web. These short and micro animations often work great to bring content and a web idea to life.  GIFs typically need less resource but works great to enhance contents. Using video requires a lot of resources like uploading to a third party site as it takes huge bandwidths for playing it. This may also cause frequent crashes and consequent glitches in user experience. GIFs in contrast to them are simpler and easily usable in any site content.

11. Background image scrolling

There are countless sites where beyond the flat color at the forefront we can see a background image that can be scrolled. Well, the trend stormed in many websites in recent years. Obviously using background image is not at all a new and unheard of design idea but, using such scrollable permanent fixture in the backdrop is a novel idea. Here the image serves the purpose of negative space in web design. It gives the foreground content a crisp and sophisticated look and feels. It is advisable to choose the right image for every page.

But remember overuse of this design element can be bad as it can cause distractions rather than helping users to concentrate on content. An image used per page is fair enough proportion for this. Otherwise, you risk causing visual overload.

12. Modular scrolling

Modular scrolling offers contextual use of motion in web design. Through modular scrolling, you can easily move through the website without needing changing views or navigation from one page to another. This allows independently moving the right and left the side of web page. Consequently, you can have more room while do not require a new page to open for knowing about the business in question. By incorporating this design correctly you make users free of all visual overload while presenting them what they need at a fast pace and with rich features.

Keval Padia is a Founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing web application development and mobile app development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lure him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.