The rise of the online video opened the doors to endless possibilities for non-static graphics in website design. One trend that has taken web design by storm is website animation. Animating certain elements of a website has the potential to grab user attention, increase engagement, seal more conversions, and increase sales. Explore all the exciting benefits of including animation on your website, and how to tap into this marketing treasure trove to improve your brand’s online presence.
1. Capture and Hold User Attention
User engagement is a difficult thing to secure in the age of constant entertainment. The average consumer interacts with hundreds of brands every day. Cutting through the clutter and making your brand stand out is no small feat. One way to grab user attention and keep them engaged from the moment they enter your website is with eye-catching animations. A brightly colored or moving element will immediately call attention to the site’s content. The more unusual and intriguing your animations, the better you’ll separate your site from the crowd.
According to one study, you have .05 seconds, or 50 milliseconds, to make a positive first impression on a website visitor after your page loads. That’s hardly any time at all to show users something they will like and want to continue reading. Animation can be an excellent UX design technique to improve first impressions and decrease click-through rates. The reader clicks on your site and immediately sees an attention-grabbing animation. The user then has a reason, and incentive to remain on the site and explore.
2. Increase User Engagement
An animation is also an excellent tool for increasing user engagement with a brand. Animating website elements such as a call to action buttons or the navigation menu can encourage users to click, explore, and remain on a page. Animating a site with intent and purpose can help brighten a page and engage with site visitors for a better bounce rate. Incorporate animations into photo slideshows, product descriptions, website scrolling configurations, or the background of the entire site, for a more intriguing website overall.
Smart use of animations can guide the user through your sales funnel. With animated videos, you can bring your products or services to life, demonstrate the steps the user needs to take to complete the transaction and communicate messages to get your point across. There is a place for animation at every point in the sales funnel: to draw the user to click on the site, to nurture the UX as the user becomes a serious prospect, and then to convert the visitor into a paying customer. The simple addition of animation can help users complete the sales funnel instead of bouncing before getting to the final stage.
3. Conceal Slow Load Times
In the age of instant gratification, web users are less inclined than ever to wait for a website that takes too long to load. There are countless statistics detailing the dangers of slow load times. For example, one finding showed that 30 percent of participants in a survey would abandon a webpage after waiting six to 10 seconds for it to load. A one-second delay can decrease customer satisfaction by as much as 16 percent. Most shoppers (79 percent) said they are less likely to buy from a site again after being dissatisfied with load time and site performance.
If your site lags for any reason that you cannot fix, conceal the wait time with a clever animation. Hiding wait times is one of the oldest uses for animated elements. Animation influences the user’s perspective on the situation. Animation can turn a customer who would have been irritated at the wait to one who is entertained by your graphic. Best-case scenario, there is no lag time at all. Worst-case scenario, your visitors have something entertaining to watch while they wait. Either way, visitors have a better overall experience on your website.
4. Customize Your Content
“Custom” has always been a key term in website design, but it has especially been a goal in UI/UX design in the last few years. Millennials look for personalization wherever a company can deliver it, from tailored advertising to unique website graphics. Custom-made animations are excellent tools for establishing a brand’s unique tone and personality. Creating custom animations that match your theme and desired goals can show website visitors that your company offers things your competitors do not.
Website personalization takes customer data and uses it to give each user a tailored, customized UX. Combining website personalization with enticing animations enable marketers to create a complete one-of-a-kind marketing experience that can ultimately boost business. A brand could collect and analyze user data and use the insights to come up with animations that best suit the individual user’s needs. This level of personalization is exactly what the modern-day user seeks in a company.
5. Increase E-Commerce Sales
Animations are currently on the list of top e-commerce website design trends. Animations go hand-in-hand with e-commerce because online shoppers are looking for exciting, interactive experiences from brands. Using animations to create something like a relevant game, for example, can be a great way to hook online shoppers and keep them on your website longer. Cultivating a connection between the site visitor and your brand through animated gamification can be just the thing your site needs to differentiate itself from the competition.
One smart way to use an animated game is to request user information before you grant access to the game portion. Ask for users to input their information as entrance into the animated game. The game presents an incentive to enter the information. It can also serve as an introduction to some of your e-commerce products or services, using animations that resemble what you sell or a game that makes sense for your business goals. Animated games are fun, intriguing, and useful tools for communicating with your audience and capturing important user data.
Learn How to Animate Your Website
Animating your website can mean anything from adding a few small hover effects to creating high-quality, full-screen moving images. The decision will depend on what type of animation will best serve your purposes. Thanks to improvements in technology, the barriers to adding animations to a website have come down. High-speed user connections and the ease of creating original animations have made this feature a simple, practical, and rewarding endeavor.
To create your own animations, first, decide which type you would like on your site. You may want to use it for progress animation, visual feedback, creative storytelling, scrolling animation, or try other popular techniques. Then, work with a digital design company that can bring your animation ideas to life. A web designer can work with you to come up with the best animation technique for your goals, and hire contractors to sketch or create the animations. The designer can also test the effectiveness of the animations on your site, and make alterations based on key performance indicators.
If you don’t want to work with a designer, you may be able to implement simple animations on your own, using a basic understanding of website coding. You will need to know how to use CSS3 animation properties to make small changes to your site. You will first specify which “@keyframes” to use for the animations, and then declare the animation’s style, color, duration, and other aspects. Remember not to use too many animations, as this can make your site too busy and difficult to navigate. Utilize animations with purpose, and measure their performance regularly for optimal returns. When in doubt about creating animations, go with a professional.