When to use animation

Animation dominates the user’s attention. It tends to distract your site visitors and make it hard for them to concentrate on the page content. For this reason you should use animations sparingly.

Do’s

  • Use instructional animations to show procedures or tasks that are hard to describe with static pictures. Accompany the instructions with text that explains the animation.
  • Use animation to draw attention to a single element on the page.
  • Use an animated progress indicator with a short text to keep your users interested while they are waiting.
  • Use only one-time animation.

Don’ts

  • Don’t use animation if it’s not relevant and should not draw attention.
  • Don’t use intro animation on the home page.
  • Don’t animate the following elements: logo, tagline, page titles, and headline.
  • Don’t animate the navigation.
  • Don’t use animation that looks like advertising.
  • Don’t combine animation with animated text. It’s difficult to read text while watching a demonstration.

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Choose a website type

1. Define your goals

Write down the goals you want to accomplish with your website.

For example

2. Define your users’ needs

Put yourself in your user’s shoes and write down your user’s needs.

  • Why are they coming to your website?
  • What do they want to do?
  • What are they looking for?

For example

3. Define your content

Match your goals and the users’ needs.
Define what content you want to provide to serve both needs – yours and the users’.

To view this quiz you need to have Flash Player 9 or newer installed and JavaScript enabled.

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How to provide animated content on a website

A Flash website provides graphic content with animation and pictures. It contains much less information content and focuses instead on the visual design experience.

Flash is a bandwidth friendly and browser independent vector-graphic animation technology. It works only if your client’s browser is equipped with the necessary Flash plug-in. Flash allows “pixel perfect” control over web design, including font specifications.

Go with a Flash website when:

  • You want to create a graphic design experience.
  • You want to create exactly the layout you like.
  • You want to have the control over the design and the font specifications.

Advantages

  • You can put animated and interactive movies on websites.
  • Content is displayed correctly for anyone who has the Flash plug-in.
  • Flash is operating system and browser independent.

Disadvantages

  • Updating the content usually requires Flash skills.
  • Embedded information is often invisible to search engines.
  • Flash plug-in for the browser required.
  • The browser must use the right version of the Flash player.
  • Some customers are immediately put off by a Flash website.
  • Web usability and standards are infringed.
  • Website reporting is problematic.
  • Apple no longer supports Flash for mobile devices.
  • The future of Flash is not clear: HTML5 could replace Flash.

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