Make an Impression with Motion Design: How a Visually Stunning Experience Can Set You Apart

Rising from the ashes of cookie-cutter bootstrap-powered looking websites, in today’s world having a web presence that stands out is crucial to improving user engagement. One way to achieve that is through the use of motion design and animations. Incorporating these elements into your website can help you create a unique user experience. Let’s explore the various ways that motion design can make an impression on your users and also help with the most important thing: increasing conversions. 

Graphic designer working on a logo project using a stylus and a desktop drawing tablet in a creative workspace.

What is motion design?

First off, what is motion design on a website? Simply put, it’s a technique that involves adding animations and transitions to your web pages to make them more engaging to users. These graphics can highlight important elements on a page, or simply add a touch of personality. As a motion graphics designer will tell you, “A touch of personality can turn a bland project into a memorable masterpiece.” Like when Peyton Manning joined the Denver Broncos, turning a solid team into a championship team. 

What is animation?

While motion design and animation are often used interchangeably, there are a few notable differences to discuss. Animation is the broad umbrella term that motion design/motion graphics fall under. Any approach that makes static images or object moves is animation – be it anime, hand-drawn cartoons, computer-generated images (CGI), or motion graphics. 

Motion design vs. animation

The main difference between motion designers and animators is the type of projects they work on. Similar techniques are used, but generally, motion designers are more focused on creating graphics and visual effects, while animators are more focused on creating characters and environments. For instance, a motion designer may be responsible for creating visual effects to be used in a movie or TV show, and an animator may be responsible for creating movements and actions of a cartoon character (think Mickey Mouse). 

How is motion design implemented?

Motion design is implemented using CSS animations, JavaScript libraries, and other tools. Some of the them include:

Hover effects

When a user hovers over an element, it can change color, size, or position. This can provide visual feedback to the user and make a webpage feel more responsive. 

Transitions

Think of a dropdown menu or something else opening and closing on a webpage, CSS transitions help smoothly animate changes in state. Instead of elements feeling clunky, transitions help them feel polished.

Scrolling

When a user scrolls up or down on a webpage, animations can be used to highlight important elements, provide visual cues, or simply add visual interest to a page. GreenSock and ScrollMagic are two popular JavaScript libraries that are commonly used to implement scroll animations.

Loading

What’s worse than a blank screen or spinner without any context while something is loading? Animation and graphics can be used to make the user feel like the website is working or processing something, even if it’s taking a bit longer to load than usual. You don’t want to lose those conversions by people bouncing off the page. With that said, on the opposite end, overusing them can slow down the loading process and distract users from the actual content they are waiting for. So, don’t get too animation happy!

What is the value of motion design?

It’s all about captivating your users and making a strong first impression. There are so many websites competing for attention, using motion design and animation can help achieve this by creating a visually stunning experience that draws the user in and encourages them to explore the website further, ultimately leading to a conversion.

Do you have products or services to show? Using motion to highlight key items can effectively capture user attention and create a dynamic first impression. Or if you have tons of data to show, leveraging animation can help convey complex information in a more engaging and accessible way to all visitors. These types of motion designs can help you improve user comprehension and retention, making it more likely that users will remember your brand and return to your website in the future.

Finally, just being memorable and distinctive can help you stand out in a crowded market and differentiate yourself from the competition. Moral of the story, be more like “Inception” and not like “The Emoji Movie.” 

 

Here is a motion design example that Americaneagle.com created for the retail industry tradeshow Shoptalk. It was posted on various social media channels and designed to draw attention to Americaneagle.com’s presence at the show, enticing attendees to visit its booth. 

Are there disadvantages to using animation or motion design?

I wouldn’t be an Americaneagle.com frontend developer without mentioning performance, accessibility, and user experience.

There are certainly pitfalls to using animations improperly or abusing their usage. In terms of page performance, keep in mind, most motion graphic and animation implementations involve CSS animations, JavaScript libraries, or other tools that can definitely increase page load times and slow down the performance. It’s always important to optimize animations and transitions for speed and avoid using too many on a single page. Subtlety is key here; animations should not be too long or distracting.

Motion designs and animations can also impact the accessibility of a webpage. Some users might have visual or cognitive disabilities that make it difficult for them to interact with or understand animations. It’s important to provide alternative ways to access information, such as providing an option to disable animations altogether.

At the end of the day, it’s important that your motion graphics and animations aren’t too distracting or overwhelming and when implementing, carefully consider the purpose of each and ensure that it serves a useful purpose for the user. Don’t just add animations for the sake of adding animations.

Americaneagle.com is your website design partner 

With Americaneagle.com, you can be assured that your design will not only be beautiful and engaging but also functional, fast, and accessible to all users. In addition to motion graphics, our website design team can provide wireframes, concepts, brand standards, and guidelines, and much more to ensure your creating aesthetically pleasing designs that produce real, measurable results. Contact us today by filling out our form or email [email protected] to learn more about our web design services and how we can help make your website memorable and distinctive. 


About Author

Adam Wagner
Adam Wagner has been working in front-end development since 2005 and joined Americaneagle.com in March 2007. He is currently the Director of Front End Development, overseeing the front-end development department and collaborating with other teams on the development of high-quality websites for our customers. When he's not staying up to date with the latest front-end development technologies and trends, he loves spending time indoors or outdoors with his wife, son, and daughter, indulging in his love of German beer, coaching sports, following his beloved Chicago Bears, being a serial guacamole eater, and stunt doubling for Tom Cruise.


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