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Animated images versus static images in web design

Whether your company sells a range of products, or provides important services, your website will need to grab attention, and encourage your website users, and your potential customers, to make a purchase, or sign up for a consultation or appointment. This is no easy feat, and involves a range of well designed website features working together to help build trust, and provide a positive user experience. As part of this, you will need to consider images and imagery. But should you choose animated images? Or static ones? And which type of imagery is most likely to be effective? Well, there is no one size fits all approach, as every company is different, but knowing the advantages and disadvantages of each can help you make a more informed decision. Here at Pumpkin Web Design Manchester, we are Manchester’s leading web design professionals. From Wigan to Southport, we work with companies across Manchester and the surrounding region to deliver high quality web design solutions that really get results. As a result, we have produced this guide to animated images versus static images in web design.

What counts as an animated image?

An animated image is generally one that changes or has elements that move independently, although user input can also trigger image animations, such as changing colour or size when clicked or hovered over. Animated images can be built specifically for your above the fold header image, with individual moving elements, or you could add subtle animation to your smaller product or service images. This could include images that self scroll through the gallery for that particular product or service. Either way animated images can be very effective.

Animated images versus static images in web design

When comparing these two types of popular imagery, you will need to consider:

  • The role of the image
  • Your target audience

The role of the image

If your image is intended to catch the attention of the consumer, when the website loads, both animated and static images can be useful. Static images can be great for welcoming users to the website, in the above the fold position. This is because they will likely look at it, and then scroll onto your content. Animated imagery here, while effective, can also be distracting, making the user scroll back up the page when they notice the movement or change. This distraction can be a good thing, as it means that in general your audience will spend longer on your website, and potentially be more motivated to buy or sign up.

If your image is intended to draw attention to a feature or link, animated imagery can be the best choice, as this can be designed to direct the users line of vision to the specific feature. However, this can also be too distracting, so you will need subtle, professional animation styles for the best results.

Your target audience

Your target audience should play an important role when you are deciding which type of imagery to go for. This is because, different types of imagery will appeal to different demographics. For example, Gen Zers might appreciate and enjoy animated imagery, while baby boomers might not see the appeal. But you cant look at demographics as a whole, as different businesses and companies will also have to consider the purpose of the company, and the suitability of animation as a web design option. For example, the target audience for a debt advice line might be less inclined to enjoy animated imagery on the website, while the target audience for a local garage, might find this feature appealing. As a result, the specific requirements of your users will be the ultimate deciding factor, when it comes to animated images versus static images in web design.

For more information or for professional web design support, contact the experts today, here at Pumpkin Web Design Manchester.