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Website design has experienced many changes and disruptive innovations. Web designers have started using web animations to breathe life and motion into static website layouts. Web design animations have become a new trend dominating our screens in recent years. They make the user experience more intuitive and exciting. Website design animation turns an ordinary user experience into an unforgettable journey that amazes with its bold colors, movements, adventures, and exciting interactions. 

In this article, we are uncovering the power of animations in web design and introducing the most popular types of webpage animations gaining momentum in 2020.

Techniques for Animation in Website Design

These web animation techniques can guide you on how to create even more incredible website designs.

1. Navigation

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Navigation is one of the most common animations on websites. Hidden navigation has become particularly trendy today, as they provide a smoother user experience. You only need to click on the icon to be directed to the next stage. Designers use this technique to save more whitespace on the screen. Website animations used for navigation are supposed to keep the user focused on the main area of a website. Navigation animations have the following benefits:

  • They organize UX architecture
  • They how that your website is professional
  • They break your site into categories
  • They let customers easily find the content of each category
  • They decrease the time users spend on searching for items on a website
  • They make pages more accessible.

In addition, great navigation keeps users engaged and invites them to explore a website? The company and its products or services. You can also hire professionals to help you design it or look into ready-to-use navigation bars that can be inserted into the page.

2. Hover animation for desktop

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Hovering is another widely used animation for a website. The CSS website animations, which can be created using JavaScript, provide feedback on users’ actions. Hover animations also improve the overall user experience by simplifying navigation.

A significant disadvantage of hover animations is that they do not work on mobile devices. Luckily, elevation animation creates the same effect on mobile devices. Just one tap is required to be informed about an interaction immediately. In this way, the user will know that they have triggered a specific response.

3. Progression

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The loading time can be frustrating for some users. To reduce it is not always possible, as it may significantly limit opportunities for your website design. 

To overcome this issue, a site designer can use progression animations. It is a great method to eliminate negative user experience caused by long loading times. Progression animations work by entertaining the user when information is being loaded. It helps create an illusion that waiting time is shorter.

When designing progression animation, it’s recommended:

  • To keep them simple – if they are too complicated, they might become evident to the user and may lose the user’s attention back to the loading time issue.
  • Also, loading animations should be engaging. After all, their main goal is to capture the user’s attention.

Website animations can be used to show progress as one of the engaging details through a website. So, at each level, a user receives information. Loading bars can be used to show that the process is happening right now. Another alternative is to use animated percentages of the uploaded information.

4. Attracting attention

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By adding motion to your site, you increase your chances of drawing the user’s attention. So, why not use it on your website. Animations that are designed to attract attention usually motivate customers to perform the desired action.

Simple animations for a website such as a nod or a shake on an icon can be used. Animations that attract attention can be used in many parts of your design, including:

  • Forms;
  • CTA;
  • Menus;
  • Feedback.

5. Skeleton screens

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Skeleton screens can be used to encourage users to interact with your site. Skeleton screens are empty sectioned pages into which the information is added gradually, but also immediately. For better results, animations should be used when information is being loaded on the web page.

The main point of using animations for a website here is to keep the user engaged. Lack of animations will make this feature boring and useless, as the user may feel the time is being wasted while the information is being loaded.

6. Transition without hard cuts

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Transition on a site should not be not only smooth but also to work as an indication of a change in state. The state changes in User Interface usually include hard cuts, by default, which can cause some difficulties. Hard cut transitions are too fast and can be frustrating for users.

Animation techniques can be applied to remedy this problem. Through this feature, viewers can click a link that leads to a different section while remaining on the same page.

7. Visual feedback

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It is always better for customers when they have an opportunity to see a response to a taken action. Sometimes, viewers may not know what to expect from a site with too many interactive decorations that may create a navigation challenge for the user and may even increase website bounce rate.

To avoid it, it’s recommended to create interactions that are easy to understand and use. Users should also be provided with information about each interaction to ensure they get the results they need. Visual feedback includes everything that can be used to show a response to a user’s action. Uses may include:

  • For link states;
  • For button states;
  • To form elements;
  • Helpful error messages.

8. Creative effects

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Your goal is not only to create an excellent presentation that attracts viewers but also to design a unique digital experience. Creative effects allow you to add special features that can make your site stand out.

It allows you to add interactive features that make viewers excited each time they.

9. Dynamic Backgrounds 

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Travel platform by Yalantis

Dynamic backgrounds are one of the best animation effects for websites. An animated web page design makes the user journey memorable and helps build an emotional connection with a user. Background animations should complement the existing content of your website rather than be at the center of the user’s attention. 

It also implies keeping an excellent balance between compelling content and distracting content. What’s most important, your dynamic background shouldn’t make the overall UI and UX design look heavier.

10. Galleries and slideshows

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Today, you can see slideshows on many websites. They allow viewing many images without interfering with the user experience. Using a slideshow is a fun way of delivering a lot of pictures on your website. The users have the option of viewing these images, or they can continue searching for other content on your site.

One thing you should bear in mind when using this animation technique is the number of images to include and the speed at which the images are moving. The speed is more important because it can create an unpleasant experience for the user if it’s too fast.

11. Scrolling

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Scrolling is a vital part of a user’s experience. Making this visually appealing is essential, as it will determine whether the viewer continues scrolling on your website. A smooth scrolling provides better customer experience and results in increased engagement. 

Scrolling used in longreads usually helps create an emotional connection with viewers. Break content into different segments and add web animations in between to make the interaction more interesting for users.

12. Whole Page Motion

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Ocean — scrolling animation by Anton Skvortsov

Whole page animation usually means the slight movements of the entire website background. It mainly used to add a  feeling of magic and exciting adventure to website design. The main rule of this animation type is that it should be almost invisible and unobtrusive. The whole page animation should just add a little bit more fresh air into a website layout and visitor interaction with a company. 

13. Dynamic Menus

Dynamic menus are another amazing example of web animations and practice to make the website user experience more seamless and exciting. Most user experience designers would agree that navigation is one of the most important website elements that significantly contribute to the overall website UX design. Despite this, it’s not always easy to access. We used to scroll back to the website header or footer to find the navigation. However, thanks to a new trend of dynamic menus this action isn’t needed. This type of menu is moving together with your scroll, so you can always easily access the navigation bar and go to the intended page easily. 

14. Welcoming Animations

The first user’s impression of a website is very important because it creates a brand image almost instantly. That’s why it’s advisable to use exciting welcoming animation to engage users and make them interested in a brand from the very beginning. 

They are also known as onboarding user animations. This animation technique is commonly employed to welcome website visitors and introduce a brand creatively to a target audience. This practice helps entertain users and motivate them to use your brand’s product or service again. Particle Love, a website by Edan Kwan, provides a perfect example of real-time welcoming animations.

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Non-interactive particle animation. Image source: Dribbble

15. Storytelling

Modern users are more interested in products and services if a brand introduces them to customers in a storytelling format. Animated storytelling has become another popular type of animation for the web. They help introduce a brand creatively and establish emotional bonds between users and a company. Usually, storytelling website animation effects are used in longreads on a website, as this format is the most convenient to tell a comprehensive and engaging story.

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Travel Page Animation by CRI$$ for Fireart Studio

Why should you use animation in your website design?

The use of animation in website design continues to increase. To make sure you are up-to-date and give your website a fighting chance against your competitors, it is best to apply animation. Aside from this advantage, here are other reasons for using animation:

  • Attracts attention to your website;
  • Acts as a guide for you;
  • Keeps visitors engaged for a longer time;
  • Increases user interactions;
  • Creates an emotional connection with viewers;
  • Improves the overall website experience.

Deciding which website animations to incorporate into your website design is essential. You need to make sure that everything on your website lends well to this experience. Always keep in mind that it is better to use simple animations, as in the examples of animated web pages below. Complex website animation effects can create an opposite response. As a guide, here is a list of the top 5 web animation examples.

Creative Web Animation Examples

1. Madwell

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This online store uses parallax to create a background that seems mobile. Some sections which feature different products have slideshows and galleries. Therefore, the users get a chance to view all images.

The navigation also ensures that there is a smooth transition from one part of the website to another. When the menu button is clicked, it produces an oversized menu that covers the entire page. In “the brief” section, creative animations are used while the viewer is checking content.

Additionally, various animations are used each time a user scrolls down the website. This ensures that the user doesn’t get bored of the same animations being performed repeatedly. Most of these animations move in a sort of way, using a black background with colorful structures.

2. Platform

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This website’s design focuses on enhancing user interaction. The form that users have to fill out is like a questionnaire. An engaging questionnaire makes the user’s experience more pleasant and interactive.

When a user starts answering these questions, he or she will get feedback on how many questions are left to complete the form. Once the form is completed, the viewer has access to the summary of the form; however, access to the results is blocked. The only way for results to be viewed is when the user provides his or her information. This is a very smart way of making sure users perform the desired action, in this case, to provide contact information.

3. Arrive Hydrated

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Arrive Hydrated uses motion animations for website to capture the attention of its users. This animation allows users to select a destination from around the world. The globe on the website can be moved using the cursor, making it easier for users to select their destination.

With one click of the menu button, the website’s various sections appear on the entire web page, making it easier for users to select the section of interest. When the cursor is moved across each section, there is a parallax effect. This website also uses the percent loading bar when loading information.

4. Jannata resort

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From a slideshow to motion images, this site definitely knows how to get the user’s attention by applying the best animation effects for website. There are two buttons on the right part of the website, one for the menu and another for booking options. Scrolling animations are also used in this website design.

As you scroll down to view information, you notice that images appear from nowhere, making the website even more creative. This sort of dynamic storytelling ensures that viewers are engaged the entire time they are on your website.

Each part of the website has a sense of motion. Images are placed next to information in each category, which adds to the creativity, making the viewers’ experience exciting and engaging from start to finish.

5. Echo

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Echo introduces what we can name the best animation format for websites. When a viewer scrolls down, information is provided via a scrolling storyline, making for a smooth transition from one UI to another. Also, whenever the user scrolls down, screenshots are provided alongside new information. This simple and cool animated website design ensures that users have a smooth navigation experience and transition smoothly from one section to another.

Technologies for creating web animations

So, you already know the most amazing and popular website animation styles and types. Now, it’s time to learn how you can add them to a website. Once designers have created or chosen the animation, they forward it to front-end developers – programming magicians who should put it on a site. Here we will consider the best technologies and frameworks used for web animation.

CSS

The first thing worth mentioning is the CSS animation. It helps front-end developers make transitions between different states using keyframes. This type of animation is lightweight, high-performing, and doesn’t require any external libraries for implementation.

Developers can add animation to a web page by using DOM (Document Object Model) and setting customized properties. Another advantage of CSS animations is excellent compatibility with different screen sizes, which is the number one factor that makes a great website. The only disadvantage is that you can imitate realistic motion using this animation type.

JavaScript

This powerful programming language is also beneficial when it comes to website animation. It gives much more flexibility compared to CSS animations.

JavaScript’s only con is that it implements all animation through external libraries, impacting animation performance and loading time. It is mostly applied when you need to pause, slow down, or stop the animation.

SVG

Do you know what the abbreviation SVG means? It’s Scalable Vector Graphics. You can understand even from the name that SVG is a perfect solution for creating easily scalable animation. It looks excellent on a website, even if you zoom on it since SVG doesn’t have pixel restrictions.

Developers can use CSS to make SVG elements. Also, it has its own animation functionality that allows creating more complicated animations.

Canvas

Canvas is great for implementing complicated animations and rendering large-scale visuals. It’s a pixel-based solution empowering you to make complicated images with different shades, colors, and motion. And what’s most important – it doesn’t affect the animation performance.

WebGL

WebGL is usually used to generate sophisticated animation effects and 3D rendering. The most impressive fact about WebGL is that it can render animation at 60 frames/second (just imagine!). For WebGL, developers should also use Canvas, but it’s quite a complicated process.

Website animation tools and JS frameworks

Now, you are aware of the proven animating practices, and it’s time to continue learning the best web animating tools. Let’s take a closer look at them.

There are a wide variety of external JavaScript libraries for website animation.

GreenSock (GSAP)

GSAP is a property manipulator used for animating, rotating objects, and scaling each property separately. It’s a flexible solution that enables you to animate almost everything, from CSS and SVG to DOM and more.

ScrollMagic

ScrollMagic is a plugin that perfectly works for scroll transitions, parallax effects, and different kinds of interactions based on the web visitor’s scroll.

Velocity.js

It’s an extensive JavaScript animation library used and loved by giant brands like Uber, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.. With Velocity.js, you can generate extremely sophisticated animations.

Mo.js

Mo.js is a customizable JS library used for website animation. In order to avoid using large-scale files, you can use Mo.js with its custom-chosen elements. This library is perfect for essential user experience and user interface website animation.

Anime.js

Anime.js is the library that works with CSS elements, SVG, DOM, and JS objects. It allows creating light code and handling many timings, easings, etc.

Vivus

It is the library that allows you to add dynamics to SVGs. Vivus enables crafting original animations by combining different paths, techniques, and timings.

Three.js

Three.js is the most famous JS library that enables you to make3-dimensional animations. It has many ready-to-go internal tools and components that make the animating process much easier and faster.

Website building platforms that don’t need coding

Readymag

Readymag is a widely-known digital platform for building website pages. It offers a complex of basic animation features that enables you to add motion to your website elements (rotate, scale, and move them).

Webflow

Webflow is the alternative platform, which you can utilize to craft multi-step website animations without programming them. In Webflow, you also can design micro-interactions to various components to trigger motion or the state after clicking or hovering over them.

Wix

Wix is another web building platform with animation functionality that can add more interactivity to website elements. Moreover, it enables you to generate page transitions, add various effects to them, and move them across the page.

Conclusion

Whether big or small, animations can enhance the experience users receive when they visit your website. Animations make a website more engaging and interactive, but the best method is, ultimately, to keep your animations as simple as possible. You can contact us at Fireart Studio to discuss any questions regarding the topic and get more information on creating website animations today.


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