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To Animate or Not To Animate? That is the Question

Websites are created for the purpose of providing information to visitors. It can either be a venue for sharing experiences through a blog or deliver information about your company, brand, products, and/or services. If your website is built to sell products or offer services, converting visitors to buying customers is an important goal.

 

But how do you achieve that? What web design elements should be in place to make your site effective in engaging and converting your audience?

 

An infographic by Wyzowl shows that 20% of people remember what they read while 80% of people remember what they see and do. Visual communication is a powerful tool to build recognition and if done well, it can be effective in sending the right message across your audience.

 

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The Advantages of Flash Animation

 

If you want to go big on visuals, flash websites have the capacity to create complex interaction and rich user experience. You can utilise interactive features like videos, audio, games, menus, animated banner ads, shopping carts, and feedback forms to make your website interesting and compelling to users. You can add flare to your website and generate a positive impression about your brand.

 

Another advantage of using flash animation is cross-browser compatibility. Flash is independent of browsers so unlike HTML, you don’t have to worry if your website will be shown differently on another browser.

 

The Disadvantages of Flash Animation

 

However, what flash animation does in enhancing user interaction, it lacks in improving your website from being crawled by search engine robots. Your website will be hard to index and won’t be shown in search engine results.

 

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“40% of users will abandon your webpage if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.”

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Moreover, websites with heavy flash animation have the tendency to slow down and cause visitors to leave. Heavy visuals are almost equivalent to slow loading websites, which can only mean high bounce rates. According to Econsultancy, 40% of users will abandon your webpage if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. With a flash-based website, engaging your users is easy but that is if they haven’t yet abandoned your site during webpage loading.

 

Conclusion

 

Generally, we advice limiting flash on your website to avoid the costly disadvantages. If engaging users is a problem, there are other technologies to animation (i.e. JavaScript, jQuery, etc.) and other tactics to explore like conversion rate optimisation.

 

It is wise to be informed of the benefits and drawbacks of any web design or development tool before you utilise them. This will save you from an expensive initial investment on a website that you will later have to redo, modify or discard altogether because it is not working well to achieve the right goals for your business.

 

Here at NFT, we have animators who specialize in Flash animation. However, before you consider adding Flash elements to your web pages, we urge you to consider other alternatives. We also wish you to consider the other underlining issues of animation in general.

Contact us today for more information.

 

References:

http://planmysite.com/blog/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-flash-websites

http://bacsoftwareconsulting.com/blog/index.php/web-development/flash-website-advantages-and-disadvantages/

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/power-of-visual-communication-infographic

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