How To Use Animations In Web Design
    How to use animations in web design

    The trend of moving pictures which we call animation has been on its rise even since its origin. And surprisingly its curve is still growing up through different platforms. The beauty it creates while used in a website is mesmerizing, which explains the increase in usage of animations in websites. A loading screen can be made very entertaining using motion graphics. If used properly it will have the capability to engage people and make them stick longer in the site.

    While designing, the first priority should be the feel, and then comes the purpose. Both of these are crucial decisions because this decides how the viewer views the website. Every website is judged within the first three blinks of the eye. There are three common ways to use animation online:

    • State change: This is used for softer transitions. When a user have moved over a selection or clicked, this animation will reflect user’s interaction.


    • Emphasis: These are used for high consideration zones of the site, highlighting a specific peace of information or call-to-action. This will help the user to engage more.


    • Reveal: This method helps in keeping the information organized and clear. They hide information at the side or bottom of the site and they will appear when they are called.


    All of these plays a crucial part in the feel the site create .Every animation used should reflect the brand’s personality. One of the best things about living in this decade is the internet. Lot of website animation tutorials can be found online. The website can be reinforced by using movements.  Smooth animations can be used in multiple ways for this purpose. Two of the most popular motion techniques are ‘Parallax’ and ‘Dolly and Zoom’.

    Parallax is scroll based animation. In this technique different elements will be moving at different rates. This helps brain to separate content from ambient or supportive content. This is used to emphasis objects of high priority in a subtle way. Zoom and dolly is a style adapted from films, this refers to the movement of objects relative to a camera. Apart from these, there are much more regularly used motions. They are;

    • Easing
    • Offset and Delay
    • Parenting
    • Transformation
    • Value Change
    • Masking
    • Overlay
    • Cloning
    • Obscuration
    • Dimensionality


    Website animation effects are the next thing to keep in mind. There are 12 basic principles of animation. These are from “The illusion of life: Disney animation” in 1981.

    • Squash and Stretch: This effect is used to create a sense of physical mass. Even the changes created in shape are small it is capable of making eye-catching effects’


    • Anticipation: In real life movements doesn’t happen suddenly, some sort of preparation is created just before it. Just like a person bending his knee before jumping. If this is added to every transition, the whole animation will feel more life-like.


    • Staging: Making an object in focus. Either it is done by placing the main action in the important place or by masking other elements, so the attention will be drawn to what is remaining.


    • Straight-Ahead Action and Pose-to-Pose: When every frame of an animation is draw, it is Straight-ahead action. Pose-to-pose is when a series of key-frames are defined and the intervals are filled in later.


    • Follow Through and Overlapping Action: when a moving vehicle stops it doesn’t stop its motion suddenly, the passengers will tend to move forward even after the vehicle have stopped. These details are examples of follow through and overlapping actions.


    • Slow In and Slow Out: Every movement will be robotic if they don’t have an acceleration and deceleration. This effect is used to create that feel.


    • Arc: Objects also doesn’t move in straight lines, they follow curved arcs.


    • Secondary action: A secondary action is used to enhance the primary action. An example will be the dust kicked up by a bouncing ball.


    • Timing: How long an animation takes to complete is the timing of the animation. This can be used to make objects feel heavier and add character to movements.


    • Exaggeration: It is used to make actions more dramatic.


    • Solid drawing: People are used to seeing things in three dimensional world, so rules of perspective must be followed by animations too.


    • Appeal: This is the character of the work. It is an appealing feeling created by combining details and movements altogether.


    We don’t have recommendations for website animation softwares but we have a list of free and trial tools to integrate animation into your website.

    • Bounce.j – A free library that lets you create and embed animations into CSS.
    • Animatron –  A web based animation software for editing animations and creative content.
    • Animate.css –  A module that allows animation of HTML document elements using CSS.
    • CodePen – This is for front-end designers and developers. It provides a social development environment.


    Lot of three dimensional animation website templates are available in the internet. Most of them are paid but you can also find free templates to let you start with something. If you are looking for some inspiring 3d website animation examples, give a google search for that too. Google have an amazing collection. If you are interested in looking at website animation tutorials, these are the basic things you need to know.

    • Input effects
    • Notification Styles
    • Motion blur Effect
    • Jump loader
    • Click impulse
    • Animated Text fills
    • Wobbly Slideshow
    • Motion Basics
    • Elastic Elements
    • Page Loading Effects
    • Responsive Transitions
    • Parallax slider


    Most of the time animations are saved as GIF, CSS, SVG, WebGL or video. Animations could be as simple as an underline or a full screen video or a background image. Animation effects can help you in attracting user’s attention to the important details in your website. Animations can also be used to categorise options to improve the UX.

    The idea of material design was inspired from this art of motion. In its Guidelines to Material Design Google states that motion can tell users that an object is light, heavy, flexible, and big or small. This provides a better understanding for the user. It’s all about using the right move to set the priority, so every move has to be justified. And if everything is placed correctly, just wait for the magic to happen in every eye laid on it. After all it’s just another art form.

    Are you confused about animations for your website? We have professionals to help you with. We are ColorMean Creative Studios, one among the leading web design agency in Dubai. Do contact us today for further details about our services.

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