Animation is an effective method to increase engagement on many levels. At first, your mind probably pictures Saturday morning cartoons, Disney movies, and video games. However, animation is a practical, sometimes critical tool your business can utilize. It can be used to catch the eye, communicate, guide, entertain, and add to your professional look.
When should you consider animation?
Logos, promo videos, instructional content, prototypes, presentations, social media, software, websites – all items that animation can take to the next level.
Not every logo needs to be as flashy as a Hollywood studio with a roaring lion, but an animated logo can add flare and create a memorable brand. For added value, an animated logo can be re-purposed for various applications, such as presentations, websites, commercials, or any video content.
Video recordings require camera equipment, lighting, locations, scheduling, cooperative weather conditions, and potentially actors. Animation production has none of these requirements and is much more flexible and often cheaper. If you prefer a recorded video, it can still benefit from 2D or 3D animations for overlay titles, call outs, or general effects.
Animated videos are becoming an increasingly popular way for companies to communicate with their customers and increase engagement. Some of the most popular styles include animated text, infographics, and whiteboard animation videos.
Do you want to help customers assemble a product, or encourage them to fill and submit a form? You could do this with an animated video accompanied by a narrator. Even a series of animated GIFs on a web page are more useful than static images.
Sometimes you do not yet have a physical product but still need to show off the design internally or market it to potential investors. 3D animation is a particularly effective method to demo and visualize your concept. 3D animation can not only easily show off the outer form via various angles but can also break down the internal function, component by component.
It’s not always easy to keep people focused on your presentation, but animation can attract and maintain your audience’s attention. PowerPoint and other presentation programs often come with easy-to-use animation functionality. You can use animation to introduce points one by one, transition smoothly between slides, walk through processes one step at a time, and compare info graphics.
Social Media Posts
Short animated videos/GIFs are great for social media. Both 2D and 3D animation lends itself to be very colorful and energetic which can catch the eye and stop someone from scrolling past. It’s also preferable to incorporate on-screen animated text rather than spoken narration for these short videos, since most people will not have the videos muted by default.
If you have a website, app, or internal software, animation is strongly advised to guide, notify, and generally improve the user experience. Here are some examples.
Guide – Direct a customer through the purchasing experience, button to button, from searching to confirming the purchase. Use animations to direct attention to specific products you want to promote.
Reassure – Have you ever clicked on a button and curiously waited to know if your click was registered? Loading or processing animations can provide clarity to the user.
Notify - Do you need to share an important message to users? Besides using bold colors, you can use some subtle animation to draw their eye to key information.
Remind – Perhaps you have an internal app and want to remind your employees to save their progress. The save button could light up a little bit after so much time has passed. Or your shopping cart icon could wiggle to remind customers they have some items in their cart.
Impress – Animations can be flashy, mesmerizing, and fun. Add a wow-factor to your home screen for a good first impression. Make pressing buttons enjoyable with some roll-over and quick hit animations.
Some helpful animation tips to keep in mind
Don’t Distract – Avoid too many animations. Remember what the purpose of the animation is to accomplish and resist the urge to over animate.
Guide the Eye – Consider not only want is most important for the user to see on screen, but the order as well.
Ease In and Out - If you have objects move, you not only need to consider the start and end position but also the speed and rate that they move. Do they move at a constant speed or speed up, slow down, speed up then slow down, etc.?
Overlap Animations - When presenting back to back animations, it often more pleasing for the next animation to begin before the current animation is finished. This give a smoother cascading effect.
Consistency and Continuity – While a variety of spinning, twirling animations can be fun, it’s more professional to keep to a common, unified feel.
Quick Feedback – you do not want users to have to wait for animations to play before they can move on. A cool intro animation, button press effects, or screen transitions between web pages may sound cool, but users don’t want to wait repeatedly. Make sure animations don’t slow down your users.
Act It Out – Character animators will personally act out movements, like walking and jumping. Although a bit silly, this practice can still be helpful for abstract animations, like a notification bell, to nail down the movement speed and timing. You can even shout out sound effects to help visualize and plan an animation.
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the many benefits animation can provide to help your business communicate to your customers and provide a better experience for them. We are available to assist at any point if you need it.
TSTS is here to help
Whether you plan to make animated video content, or simply want to spice up your presentations, we at TSTS can assist you with our 2D and 3D animated skills.