Web Animation

I guess this is a bit of an opinionated topic, but I thought that I’d ask you beautiful bunch of technically minded individuals.


Where do you stand regarding animation on the web?

The Long Bit

I’ve heard some very strongly opinionated pieces on this topic, some arguing that we shouldn’t bother, it’s a waste of time & how animation(s) can act as nothing more than a distraction, ultimately delaying the customer’s journey by ‘x’ amount of time. Arguably, some have even said that including animations will just decrease the performance of a website, you get the gist. Others debate that it may be confusing, bland & in no any way immersive to have a website with no animation(s), even if it’s something as small as a loading bar/feature.

Personally, I think as long as you use a bit of common sense, i.e. your website has a loading bar/wheel, but at the same time doesn’t act or behave like a video game, you can’t really go too far wrong. I also believe a reasonable consideration for animation, or the amount of animation relies heavily on context; if you’re looking at a very creative or abstract oriented website, you’d expect more animation(s) compared to an online banking application.

right in the middle

animations are nice and all, but if you overuse them it becomes reeeeally stupid

I once fell into a MS outlook page where there was this grid on the screen and EVERY ITEM ON IT WAS ANIMATED, ALL 9 OF THEM!

I laughed hard… that was probably some designer’s internship team wetdream, it was also kinda hidden, like some sort of helpdesk for fucked up outlook accounts or something

but TL:DR -> they’re fine if you know what you’re doing, might engage the user but only if not used too much


I’m glad to see that you’re somewhat in agreement with my take on web base animations, I couldn’t agree more that you should aim to include some, but there’s no need to animate anything & everything, I’d say keep it to a minimum, just animate what’s necessary or what can make an app really pop…

P.S. I f**king love your avatar/profile picture on here… :joy:

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I don’t mind it for the most part as long as it doesn’t waste the time of the user. On phones, having an animation to switch before the different views of an app is nice and actually benefits the user (imo), but if you have a super clunky loading bar / wheel that actually slows down the page loading, which I have seen, then that’s where I think animations are dumb.


In depends on what you mean with annimations. Imo, a lot of subtle annimations are welcome. Like say a menu button morphing into a back button on pressing it. But a lot of people when given the power of wordpress (and alike) go ‘full ham used power point for the first time’ (is what Id like to call it). And then you end up with websites where everything fades in and out from everywhere to a point where it just feels redicolous. A lot of the best presentations ive seen use white background with black text on their slides and nothing more. Similarly I do not believe annimations will make your program good if it wasn’t good without them its a lost cause. But it cetainly can make it better and potentially more intuitive if done correctly.

While that doesn’t blow my mind, I am fortunate to not have encountered such an issue, I don’t get why people don’t just use the basics, a small gif would do the trick & there’s be bugger all performance issue(s) unless you’ve got some dog slow internet connection…

Sounds like you’re a fan of minimalism? :slight_smile:

with that said I think all webpages should be tested on the most basic shitty celeron, if they give a good user experience (UX ffs) then you can ship it

As a user, I don’t mind animation that’s used as window dressing. The problems start when the site is built such that it’s dependent on the animation. For example, mobile browsers do not have hover states, and I always feel like that weird kid from The Matrix whenever this happens.

Do not try to move the mouse pointer. That’s impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth. There is no mouse pointer.

As a developer, the frontend makes me grumpy in general. Javascript is universally lamented as being kind of terrible, and in my opinion CSS still needs a lot of work. Part of the difficulties of creating decent animations in a browser stems just from that. Add on top of that clients and/or project managers who think they can boost their stats by using scripting and animation to shove content up your nose, and again you’re asking for trouble.

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I like the XFCE desktop philosophy and would gladly like to see their philosophy extend on the web in general.

With the bandwidth caps, I like my web as lean as possible so that if I browse the web (on mobile) more data could be allocated to actual content consumption (podcasts and video) vs rather than the website it is on.

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I prefer websites like https://www.gnu.org/.

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Not necessarily. But I do think there are more important things. Like content and UX. And while annimations can make apps and websites better, you can easily achieve the exact opposite.

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