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    8 min read

    6 Top Uses of Web Animation and 7 Great Examples

    By Derek

    Animation can make a website more visually appealing, which is why it’s common to find some type of animation on most sites. However, there is more to animation than just appearances. Web animation also improves the experience of visitors by making elements polished and smoother. Here, you get to go through the six top uses of web animation and how it can be helpful in your effort to get more engagement, followed by seven great examples you can use.

    animation in web

    1. Revealing Information

    If you animate elements on your website, the message gets home better and clearer. As a marketing aid, animation helps reveal more information when a user clicks or hovers over certain areas. When an animated box crawls out of a website, you can create a slow fade or a spinning user interface (UI) card, making the revealing of information better than when it just appears out of thin air.


    In addition to giving you a chance to add character to your website, animation makes the revelation of information less jarring. A good example is what happens on Flickr, where users experience a slow fade when they hover over images.


    2. Transitioning

    Windows with new information is not the only jarring element in user-website interactions. When scrolling, switching pages and tabs, or activating buttons on a site, animation can serve as a great tool. Besides, motion during transition can also help avoid abrupt changes that the human eye notices.


    Simply put, the use of animation during a transition keeps a user-oriented when there is an object manipulation or a state change, making the process seem smooth and not jarring. A good transition should feel natural, where a user gets the impression of interacting with a real-world element. For example, a simple keypad on a web page that uses background animation can give users feedback when they click on its buttons.

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    3. Notifying

    Motion-based graphics tend to attract attention, which makes animation a great tool to notify users about events, changes, promotions, and more. Animation can be highly useful in websites that need to provide notifications to their users, with eCommerce platforms serving as a perfect example. This is because it can assist in providing immediate gratification during an online purchase.


    There are scores of eCommerce websites that use a simple yet effective animated ‘+1’ method which puts their desired items into the shopping cart. This tells shoppers they have added something to their carts, while also drawing attention to the fact that they can complete the checkout process at any time.


    4. Emphasizing

    The fact that motion attracts attention is useful in more than just providing notifications. It can help in directing a user’s focus to a particular area of a webpage. Slight motion grabs a user’s attention, as long as you do not have other moving elements on the screen. This explains why a blinking cursor on text fields makes it easy to spot it when it is idle.


    Websites use motion-based graphics to attract attention to important areas or crucial information. This is especially the case when multiple details can lead to a user not focusing on important parts. However, you need to keep things subtle to avoid giving your website a spammy feel.


    5. Delighting

    Another good use of animation on a website is to delight its visitors. In this case, it’s common for web designers to use animation to avoid distractions that might interfere with a user’s experience. For example, animation comes in handy when web users stumble upon missing pages or experience long loading times.


    In addition, a motion that users can activate by scrolling or hovering can add life to what might otherwise be a lackluster page. This is because many people would rather see some form of motion on pages they visit instead of staring at content that looks boring.

    web animation

    6. Hinting and Motivating

    Good web designers and developers often rely on animation to direct a website’s visitors to specific sections and provide subtle hints about the actions they need to perform. For example, it’s common for websites that run separate versions for different regions to use animation and ask users if they want to make any particular region their default upon their first visit. A sliding animation at the bottom of a page can help indicate that users need to scroll further down to view the entire content. When used for providing hints or motivating users, web animation tends to have a positive effect on conversion rates.


    Website Animation Examples You Can Use

    If you’re wondering, “What is web animation used for?” the answer is that the use of animation in web design is fairly common, not just to improve usability but also to achieve a wide range of objectives. Here are some great web animation examples from the world over.


    1. Navigational Interactions

    One of the most common actions that web users take involves navigating a website. Now, the use of animation to provide hidden navigation and deliver a smoother user experience has become standard practice. In this case, users simply need to click on the animation to move to the next stage. This web development technique gives developers the means to save more white space. Besides, it also helps keep a user’s attention on the main section of a web page.


    When using animation to streamline navigation, you benefit from breaking your website down into suitable categories, organizing its user experience (UX) architecture, giving visitors the ability to find the content they seek easily, and improving your website’s overall accessibility.

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    2. Progression Indicators

    Slow page loading speed has the potential to frustrate many web users. Unfortunately, improving it might not be possible with heavy pages without hampering the user experience in some other manner. This is where animation that indicates progression comes into play. By diverting a user’s attention when a page is taking time to load, it is possible to make it seem that the wait time is shorter.


    It is also possible to use web animation tools to highlight what is happening after a web user performs a particular action. For example, an animated percentage can indicate just how much of an upload or a download is complete.


    3. Scrolling Interactions

    From the scrolling perspective, it is possible to use web animation to encourage your website’s visitors to continue scrolling. When you use interactive scrolling, you have better control over how you present information to your website’s visitors. For example, you may:

    • Use the dissolve effect on any element that a user scrolls away from
    • Highlight textual information in slideshows as a user scrolls through different slides
    • Get images to transition to text as users scroll through them


    Interactive scrolling gives you the ability to control the elements you want users to focus on while they browse through your website. This, in turn, helps you provide a good user experience and direct visitors to perform desired actions. Besides, it also results in people spending more time on your website, thereby increasing the possibility of their responding to your calls to action (CTAs).

    what is web animation

    4. Hero Image Animation

    When it comes to web design, the term “hero image” refers to a large, prominent, and eye-catching image that users get to see just below a website’s header, in the above-the-fold section of a web page. In modern-day web design, it usually takes up the entire pre-scroll area of a page. Now, many top web designers use animation in hero images to make the first element that users get to see more interactive and dynamic.


    Hero images communicate with web users in the initial seconds, and using animation gives you the ability to make them more appealing and informative at the same time. For example, while an animated hero image can help create a great first impression, it can also help draw attention to a promotional offer.


    Animation can make providing information through hero images easier and more effective. In most cases, people interpret imagery much faster than textual content. What this means is that while a hero image serves as an element of attraction, it also plays a vital role in delivering a visual message. With animation, it’s possible to add more within a hero image and make your message more resounding.


    In addition, animation in hero images can help streamline navigation by drawing attention to a CTA, appeal to a user’s emotions, and improve aesthetics.


    5. Visual Feedback

    Animation can work rather well to inform users if they perform the right actions through visual feedback. Besides, when you use animation to provide visual feedback, you can make your website more intuitive. Typically, this visual feedback comes in the form of hover and warning animations.

    • Hover animations. Hover animations typically help show a website’s visitors which elements are clickable. For example, when a user hovers over a clickable element, it can show a hint, change color, or light up. Using hover animations is also possible to let users know if the actions they perform are successful. For example, if a visitor submits a request for a quote, an animation can indicate the successful pressing of the “Request a Quote” button.
    • Warning animations. A warning animation informs visitors when they don’t do something right. For example, you may use a warning animation to let users know if they fill out a form incorrectly, miss entering the required details, or are trying to send the same query again. If you use warning animation, you should give users an easy way to disable the same.

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    6. Image Galleries

    An animated image gallery is easy to comprehend, much like a static one, but it’s more dynamic. Besides, it can provide more information and context while not taking as much time as a video clip. You may present your animated image gallery as a carousel or a slideshow, which you can use to narrate brand stories, provide vital information, or draw attention to existing offers.


    Another example of using an animated image gallery is displaying images on a page in a large grid. When users click on an image, they get to view the larger version along with a bottom carousel that displays the other images in the form of thumbnails. Another benefit of animated image galleries is you get to add text in different forms.


    7. Storytelling

    Animation can work as an excellent auditory and visual stimulus, which makes it perfect for storytelling. After all, animation gives you the freedom to manipulate settings, characters, and various other elements, which is usually a restriction with other mediums. You can use this liberty to evoke emotions, present complicated ideas in a simpler manner, and create any possible scenario you envision.


    When you use animation for storytelling, you get to provide a lot of information in a short span of time and make your story more memorable. For example, an animated story that highlights what attendees to an event might expect would typically be more effective than a lengthy textual blog post that provides the same information.


    Where Does Web Animation Stand Now?

    The answer to the question “What is web animation?” has continued to change since the introduction of GIFs in 1987. After the launch of Flash in 1996, it went on to become the most installed media software across the web, and users could find Flash-based animation on most websites. Now, Flash is passé, as is the use of GIFs and Java Applets.


    Modern-day web designers and developers use different tools, technologies, and techniques such as CSS, JavaScript, WebGL, SVG, and motion graphics to create high-quality web animation. They are also proficient in data visualization animation as well as creating user interface (UI) animation and animation for web-based games.



    When adding animation to your website, it is important to ensure doing it right because going overboard can do more harm than good. To be on the safe side, you should consider partnering with a good web design agency. After all, custom web design and development is a complicated and time-consuming process, and for the best results, seeking professional assistance is the way to go.

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