How important are animated graphics?

Provided by the Good News Web Designers Association

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1. Animation can add pizzazz, a sense of "Wow!" Overused, it adds too much busyness or causes headaches.

2. On your Home Page, animation enlivens the visitor's introduction to the product or organization. It makes a good first impression.

3. Movement on a page unconsciously creates the feeling that this website is not going to be boring. It also says that your ministry or church is not boring, either.

4. People are used to TV, and the computer monitor resembles a TV. Although they don't come to the computer to see a movie (not usually anyway), they do associate entertainment with movement and action.

5. Animation can be used to bring static pictures to life. Using a good graphics designing program, take the original picture, alter it in some way, and compile both the first one and the altered versions in an animation program. A simple way to add life is by changing colors:
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6. Keep in mind that different computers and different modems show the animation at different speeds. WebTV makes them really, really fast. People with old equipment will see them much slower. Don't worry too much about the extremes, but keep it in mind.

7. Animated graphics take longer to download onto the visitor's computer, because they are really multiple graphics being layered on top of each other. Therefore, keep them as small as possible. Besides, a large animated object is way too distracting! And to minimize downloading time, don't use many graphics on a page that has animation.

 

EXTRA TIPS

Movement captures the eyes' attention. Choose where to use animated graphics based on where you want the eyes to travel.

Other than considering the time it takes to download a page (more animation = slower download), how many animated graphics is the right amount to have on one page? Think of animation as spice in a meal you prepare. Use just a dash of it here and there! Too much movement amidst static text and non-moving graphics looks distracting, disjointed, and it says you don't know what you're doing.

Animation can also be used to add text to pictures or pages; try fading in a title. Take a look at this example (watch for the word "ministry").

 

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