Usability for Nerds/Web design/Animations

Web designers love to make animations for artistic reasons, to attract attention, and to show off their technical prowess.

However, animations cause many usability problems:

  • Animations are most often annoying and distracting.
  • They detract attention away from informative text.
  • They may not be compatible with all client devices, browsers, screens, etc.
  • Animations slow down access.
  • Flashing and flickering objects can cause seizures in people with epilepsy.
  • Animations cause problems to people with visual or cognitive handicaps

You should therefore think twice before deciding to make animations on a web page. Informative pages should generally not have animations, while hobby pages and pages selling art and entertainment products may have animations. Never let an animation cover the whole screen. Always place a menu on top of the screen so that the user can quickly get to the point if they don't want to spend time watching your animation or wait for it to download and start. Videos and sound should never start automatically when a page is visited, but only when the user clicks on it.

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