Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

You can’t deny the growing popularity of adding motion in website design. From parallax scrolling effects to CSS and JavaScript, we are told that animations will draw attention to your site, engage visitors, and effectively manipulate where they look and what they do. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Motion and animation has its place but here is my plea to web designers everywhere. Please stop. Or at least, stop and think for a minute first. Ask yourself a few questions.

Is animation a crime of opportunity?

What is the animation doing to benefit the user? How will it improve their experience? If it doesn’t improve UX or UI, you should consider how it might actually be hurting it. I know you want your site to stand out. I know you want to wow your audience. Unfortunately, in today’s web design world, subtlety is apparently dead – or at least it’s dying. And how many designers even consider the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines when determining how much motion and animation to add?

Is the animation in line with your brand personality? Adding some splashy new animation that you think looks cool might not be the best reason to update your website. Brand consistency is a key element in connecting with your audience. So ask yourself what the purpose of the animation is. Will it add much needed energy or playfulness to your site and your brand? Does it signal an event or a status? Is it helping with navigation?

If you are determined to add movement and animation to your website, start small and know when to stop. Make sure your choices have a purpose and that they accurately reflect your brand. You might also first consider micro-interactions as a more subtle way of adding motion. Whatever you decide to do, have a good reason for doing it. Change for change’s sake alone can confuse your audience and ultimately damage the trust you have built with them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s