In the old days, many years ago, web designers used a technology called Flash to create animations on websites. Such animations were created by specialist Adobe Flash designers and embedded on a web page. Flash could create some lovely animated effects. Then Apple dropped a bombshell. They announced that the were not going to support Adobe Flash on their browser/devices which meant that overnight, Flash animations became a thing of the past.

These days, no self-respecting web designer would suggest including a Flash animation on a website. But some clients do want movement. So what are the options?

First consider if you really need movement?

Movement on a website can include items that move, rotate, scroll or blink. Plugins can be included that create animations, presentations, sliders, slide shows, accordions and much more. But before you ask your website designer to include movement, consider these points carefully:

  1. Some people find animations extremely annoying, especially things that blink and move. The level of irritation can be such that the viewer decides that they have had enough of your annoying site and move on… the last thing you want to happen!
  2. People using screen readers may experience problems with movement on a web page. This particularly applies to rotating carousels. The screen reader sometimes cannot keep up with the changes in the rotating content, resulting in a confusing message to the viewer.
  3. Moving text and images can be a distraction. They may take away focus from other important parts of your website.
  4. The more complicated your site, the more there is to go wrong. With the multitude of viewing devices, configurations and browsers out there on the web today, it’s becoming increasingly likely that an animation will not be compatible with some set-ups and display hiccups may occur. Keeping your site simple means that it will be able to be viewed in pure form by as many people as possible.
  5. Mobile devices do not always cope well with movement.

If you really want movement…

  • Make sure that it people have enough time to process any images changes. For example, if you have a slider, make sure the slider stays on screen long enough for people to be able to process the content. Slide changers that change very quickly can be very annoying.
  • Same applies to text that changes. Make sure it is on screen long enough for viewers to read and process what it says. You might be a fast reader, but some people read very slowly.
  • If possible, provide viewer controls so that visitors can move backwards and forwards between slides themselves. That way, they won’t miss any content.
  • Avoid anything that blinks or use with extreme caution. It just makes your website look tacky!