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Explaining the different types of animation and why they are important.

Craig Greenup 05/11/21, 10:31

different types of animation

It’s no secret that engaging content resonates more effectively with site visitors, encouraging those all important site conversions and generating valuable leads for your business. This has been demonstrated through site data collected over a number of years, and as more businesses adopt highly engaging content strategies it has become more important than ever before to look for techniques which give you the edge over your competitors.

One of the emerging techniques we are seeing more frequently is the use of video animation on key web pages. Whether you are aiming to emphasise certain information, engage with and educate your audience, or simply want to breathe new life into static pages, video animation is a versatile and valuable choice that many of our clients are moving towards.

This year, web users are expected to watch and engage with about about 100 minutes of video and animated content per day – this represents a large portion of the total time users will spend online, and for businesses it means a huge opportunity to earn exposure and engagement. As of last year, 87% of businesses were making use of engaging video and animated content for marketing purposes, up from only 63% in 2017.

As you can probably guess, the rapid uptake of this marketing technique is driven directly by users’ preferences. Your target audience has come to expect a great user experience when visiting your website, and it is through engaging video animation that you can help provide them with what they are looking for. Part of what makes this medium so successful is the fact that it is one of the most easy-to-consume formats that you can adopt. It is fast, engaging, informational, and when done right it is a joy for your visitors to experience.

Animation online can take many forms – it all depends on what you are hoping to achieve. For example, it can be created in video form to educate and inform your site visitors when used to present product guides and instructional content, but you can also use it in a less formal way to catch visitors’ attention and encourage them to engage with your pages. It can also be used to provide subtle feedback when a user interacts with an on-page element, or to help guide your visitors through your website and funnel them towards conversion.

Animated video

One of the most engaging ways you can incorporate video animation into your site is to choose a particular product or service that you provide, and place carefully planned video animation content on relevant pages. This is the most reliable way to make sure your complex ideas are communicated in a way that your site users can instantly understand and will love to engage with.

Video animation is more practical and versatile than live action video as it is much easier to update or tweak once you have started to gather engagement stats. If you find that there’s a certain point at which users tend to stop watching the animated video then you can more easily look into why that might be the case and then alter the animated video to remedy it and make sure your users are engaged from start to finish.

Video content in general gains 1200% more shares than image and text do, and it has been shown that the most engaging videos earning the most shares are up to two minutes long. Video animation engages our visual and auditory senses and we are hardwired to focus on this kind of media when it’s present on a page.

Studies have also shown that as well as being engaging and highly shareable, video content ensures that viewers retain much more information then when concepts are presented as text or images. Up to 95% of the content of a video is likely to be remembered by users, compared to just 10% of written content.

Microinteractions with animation

Microinteraction animations are something that we engage with almost every time we load a website and may not even notice. They are the simple and often subtle animations that are used to provide information or feedback when you interact with a particular element. The idea behind this kind of animation is not to steal the show and grab your users’ attention with showy graphics, they are designed, instead, to gently draw attention to where you would like users to go next on their conversion journey, such as filling in their log in details, subscribing to your newsletter, making a purchase, or visiting relevant product and service pages.

This kind of animation is also one of the most versatile, and it can be effectively incorporated into various on-page elements to achieve your desired goals. They can be used to highlight whether a feature is on or off, give visual feedback when an on-page action was successful or unsuccessful, highlight important information, and to make icons more engaging to encourage conversions.

Loading animations

In today’s digital world, your web users expect the sites they visit to work seamlessly and can lose interest in your pages very quickly if they don’t load within a few seconds. Whether a slow loading speed is down to an issue with your site or with the user’s internet connection, you can use animation in your loading pages to make the wait more tolerable to an impatient audience. A good loading page animation will distract your site users and will give them something engaging to enjoy while your page loads.

Loading page animations work best when they fit well with your brand identity, so you can use this form of animation to put across your company’s personality. One of the most popular types of page load animations are known as ‘tightropes’ and these give users a fun way to keep track of how long the content will take to load which makes them more likely to stick around. A user who has a good idea of how long a page will take to load is much less likely to leave the page prematurely and therefore helps reduce your bounce rate and gives you a higher chance of earning a conversion.

Content carousels

One of the simplest and most popular ways to use animation on page is to include some well planned content carousels. You can usually find these near the top of web pages where they can be populated with text, images, links, videos and more. The vast majority of websites using animation will have a carousel or two as they are known to be one of the most effective ways to use animation to earn more conversions and engagement. Users are so accustomed to seeing carousels that when they visit a website they’re already interested in, their natural curiosity will almost guarantee they will click through your carousel content.

A well designed carousel is the ideal place to feature your most important information such as key products and services, and they are also a great place to feature any on-page information that is likely to change frequently, such as information on seasonal sales and time sensitive promotions. One of the best things about content carousels is that they can be customised to function in different ways, such as having the carousel transition through content automatically or allowing the user to click through the slides at their own pace.

Using this animation option, site owners can easily showcase and highlight key content through the use of seamless animated transitions which prevent the slides from being visually jarring for site users. While they are most commonly found in page headers, they are also a great way to include information such as testimonials towards the bottom of a page which adds credibility to your site while being attractive and engaging.

Dynamic animated backgrounds

A saturated digital market has made it more important than ever to give your website a strong brand identity and take additional steps to help your site stand out from the crowd. Animation can be used to work in the background alongside your regular content, making your pages more engaging and eye-catching, and providing your users with additional information on your products and services.

Dynamic, animated backgrounds should only be used where they can enhance the user experience your site offers. You can get the most out of this animation type by using it sparingly on key pages to deliver an engaging experience, and by ensuring you have not gone overboard by cramming as much animation onto each page as possible. The idea with these animations is to complement your existing website rather than creating something that will distract from your brand messaging.

Dos and don’ts of on-page animation

If you are considering adding animated elements to your websites, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Firstly, as any good web designer will tell you, animation can make your website much clunkier than it needs to be, and can contribute to slow loading speeds. This is something we’ve touched on previously, but the importance of having a website that works quickly cannot be overstated. If you are looking to add animation to your site, your web designer will be able to advise you on how this can be done without sacrificing performance.

Experienced web designers know that you absolutely can have too much of a good thing, and this is true when it comes to animation. The right kind of animation in the right place will enhance your users’ experience and drive conversions, but if you go overboard then you are much more likely to frustrate your visitors and jeopardise your chances of earning a conversion. Like with most things in life, it’s all about balance.

Making use of the most up-to-date technologies to create your animations is a must. By using the newest tech you can ensure that your investment in website animation is as cost effective as possible, and will be easy to maintain and support in the future as your website evolves. Many experienced web designers make use of a combination of JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS3 to create immersive and engaging animations to suit the personality of the brands they work with, though there are some impressively powerful all-in-one tools available to web designers such as Adobe Animate and K-3D. One of our favourite tools is Lottie, which allows us to create animation using Adobe After Effects in conjunction with the LottieFiles plugin.

Animation in action

If you think that animation might be exactly what you need to breathe life into your website and help make those vital conversions through effective engagement, get in touch with us to explore your ideas and options. Getting the balance right for your site takes a personal touch, and you may be looking for a complete overhaul or something more subtle; whatever the case may be, we’re looking forward to working with you to create something truly impactful and meaningful for your brand.