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Web Animations: 7 Use Cases in Web App Design and Great Examples

UI / UX Design
Web animation in UI/UX

The web design industry has been using animation for quite a long time. First, these were mainly .gif files, and then, Flash technology became the leading tool for creating animated elements and effects on a website. Nowadays, developers primarily use JavaScript and CSS to create animations. The mentioned technologies are flexible, lightweight, and fast.

In web design, animation effects often help to draw users’ attention to essential details. Moreover, using it, you can easily emphasize the element’s clickability against the background of other website details and solve several other tasks.

There are many other ways to use animation in web apps. They all improve interface usability, increase conversions, and achieve other important goals. Let us talk more about this below in the article.

Why do you need animation in website design?

Developers can resort to many ways of using animation to improve web app interface usability and achieve a broad variety of other objectives. Have a look at some examples below:

  • Attention management and drawing visitors’ attention to important detail. For example, you can highlight the clickability of a particular interface element against the general webpage background. Objects in motion are perfectly visible against a static background;
  • Webpage interaction optimization. Some things are a lot simpler to implement while using animation rather than static images or other elements;
  • Distraction methods to occupy the time necessary for the page to completely load while users wait;
  • Navigation tips helping to use a website or its separate pages;
  • Motivation to perform a targeted action to increase conversion rates. Developers can resort to animation to guide users along a particular path, giving them hints of what their next step should be;
  • Emotion display or user action evaluation. For instance, when users complete particular actions on your website and they are all correct, a corresponding animation appears. If visitors make any mistakes somewhere on the website, they see the opposite type of animation;
  • Visual feedback. Animation effects are perfect for receiving visual feedback from users. For example, all kinds of warnings and error messages become more visible and comprehensible;
  • Storytelling. Using animation, developers can interlink website elements and events, telling a real story and building storylines for users;

OK, now that we have dealt with animation use scenarios and marked its benefits to a website, let us list the most popular types of animation.

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7 Main Types of Web Animations and When to Use Them

There are quite a lot of options for making a webpage “alive” and interaction with it more convenient, coherent, and engaging. Let us have a look at those that we can use in almost any type of web app design.

1. Animation of processes and step-by-step operations

Step-by-step animation by Trixie Pama

When a particular user-independent linear sequence of actions is performed, it may be accompanied by an animation effect for clarity. For example, it can be a transition through the stages of placing an order or building a custom product version.

2. Wait animation

Spinner by Zoey

This animation type is suitable for actions that take some time. The following processes belong to this category: website sign-in procedures, file download operations, payment transactions, and others.

The main task here is to show users that the process is going well, and they are on the way towards their goal. A website can use a loading bar, animated hourglass, spinner, and other similar animations to show progress.

3. Drawing of attention

Manage eCommerce – Dashboard by Mateusz Wozniak

Our eyes can easily capture even the slightest movement against the background of a static picture. Consequently, websites can use animation to draw users’ attention to a specific target element on a particular screen.

4. Reaction to user actions

Customer Feedback Rating Screen by Suraj Shettigar

Feedback plays a crucial role in providing a quality user experience while sing a webpage. It makes the interaction visible and comprehensible, providing visual confirmation of the action taken.

5. Page (content) scroll 

Qoorio landing design by Juste Navickaite

Page scrolling animation is a simple yet effective way to capture visitors’ attention and engage them in further interaction with the website.

6. Transitions and state interrelation

Interior Lab – Homepage by Martin Ehrlich

Animation is also beneficial for visualizing transitions between different screens or screen states. This approach helps users understand where they were while starting their action, and where they ended up after completing it.

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7. Storytelling

SURF – interactive storytelling by Nick Herasimenka

Animation can show its potential in storytelling. It makes the scrolling process alive and pleases website users, creating a kind of emotional connection with the interface with which users interact.

When it is worth using animation on a website, and when it is better to avoid it

As animation use has certain limitations, let us find out in what cases its use is relevant and when it is inappropriate.

When it is unadvisable to use animation on the website:

  • if its use is for decoration purposes only and distracts users’ attention;
  • for displaying logos and various brand identity elements;
  • when it significantly increases the page’s “weight” and reduces the loading speed for users;
  • on a webpage already overloaded with information.

These are the cases when animation elements will look appropriate:

  • when it is necessary to attract or retain users’ attention;
  • to make interaction with the webpage more interactive;
  • to make complex information easier perceivable;
  • and to achieve several other goals described in the first half of this article.

Website design is not just its appearance but also the way users interact with the whole webpage and its separate elements. In this respect, web animation plays a crucial role in making a website truly interactive. While using this tool properly, you can achieve various goals and get many benefits.

For many years, Lvivity has been helping companies develop efficient software solutions designed to tackle their business objectives. If you are looking for a reliable partner to help your ideas come true, contact us, and let us discuss the details.

July 11, 2022

UI/UX Designer at Lvivity. I'm responsible for the design side of things in our agency.

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