If you’ve been trundling around in the web world for a while, as I have, you might remember a few times when it became “animated”. First, there was the animated gif explosion that began in the late ’90’s. Remember the Hamster Dance? I’d link to it, but I don’t want to assault your ears (and the ears of everyone around you, since it auto-plays). Here’s Know Your Meme’s page about it instead..
Suffice it to say, excited at the prospect of an internet that *GASP* could move around, designers turned the web into a paroxysm of blinking, seizure inducing content, intended to grab your attention in the way that a flashing billboard on the highway does — annoyingly.
There was the inevitable backlash against this trend, and the web became a relatively quiet place again — at least design-wise, anyway. Content-wise, the first thing ever written online was probably in ALL CAPS, and we’ve been loud ever since.
This quiet moment in design didn’t last long, and was interrupted by Flash, a much more sophisticated piece of blinking, not-quite-as-siezure-inducing technology which allowed designers to indulge in whole layouts of moving, animated layouts that “came to life”. Never mind that they were a usability nightmare, killed your pages loading speed, and more often than not were just as annoying as the hamsters that preceded them.
So what are some ways to use animation in modern web design? Stay tuned, and I’ll show you a few of my favorites. Continue reading