Improving User Experience Through Animation Effects

Author -  Karen Mills - Design Director

Online success depends on different factors such as: a website appeal and functionality, the right marketing strategy, consumer experience and many others. However one critical factor that can make a big difference towards drawing in visitors is a website's visual appeal.

Websites can be visually enhanced through the use of animation. The kind of animation I am referring to is in regards to transitions, effects and behaviours within the design.

Why Use Animation in your Website

When done appropriately, website animation is an engaging experience for users. An engaging website will keep visitors in your site for longer because they enjoy navigating through. Users also become more receptive to your key messages the longer they stay.

Your user experience will not effected through slow page loads or errors. We use programming languages such as JavaScript and HTML 5 that can enhance your web design without sacrificing user experience where smooth animation effects are added to key elements of your website. Most effects are triggered by an action such as; page scroll, mouse hover or mouse click, such as;

  1. Header Navigation that 'sticks' to the top of your browser when scrolling
  2. Navigation/Logo that 'slides' up or sideways using a smooth transition
  3. Enhanced Image 'effects' such as enlarge, shadow, or jump
  4. 'Scrolling' or 'Carousel' or 'Show/hide' for lists
  5. 'Movie-lights' to blackout the background behind videos
  6. Custom 'styled' form elements for checkboxes and radio buttons

A Dynamic User Experience with Web Animation

Improving user experience is important because it will help you stand out from your competitors. Take a look around our J. A. Russell website. This website uses; 'Slide navigation', a 'Scrolling' feature panel & news button, 'Sliding' footer navigation and others. Animation such as these help users navigate a website easily and comfortably because they can distinguish where they want to go through the animated tabs and icons. This way, user experience becomes more dynamic and interactive.

Portfolio-JARussell.jpg

Increased User Interaction through Animation

Other useful enhancements to promote website interaction is the 'sticky header' or 'Carousel'. Sticky headers remain fixed and visible to the user. Check out Wagner Health and Digipost's sticky headers by scrolling the page (keep your eye on the navigation!). Wagner's sticky header includes the search tool and the menu navigation panel. The user doesn't have to scroll up just to get to the search tool or menu navigation panel. Another feature that increases user interaction is a Carousel. A carousel (of listed information) is an attention-grabber and can be effective in increasing user interaction. It basically shows a rotating display of the featured content of your website. It can squeeze more content into one limited area - great for product lists and blog articles.

Portfolio-Wagner-Responsive.jpg

A Website Environment that is Intriguing and Comfortable

For an Auckland film and TV animation company - Digipost's post production and visual effects are world-class! Keeping inline with their highly technical visuals, we applied our own website know-how to give their viewers a favourable user experience - on all devices! Take look around their website www.digipost.co.nz, you'll see we've added various JavaScript animation effects such as; 'sticky' navigation, 'sliding' sub sections, and 'movie-lights' to blackout the background when watching videos - really enhancing the user experience to emulate in-movie experience.

Portfolio-Digipost.jpg

A website made more appealing by animation helps a business' online presence through enhanced user experience. Great user experience will keep visitors in your website for longer and entice them back. Your visitors will be more inclined to spread the word about you, simply based on the experience they've had navigating your website.

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