Would he exist? The perfect website? In this blog series, Baas & Baas looks at the best techniques that together form the ideal website! In this blog we take a look at Motion Design, a great technique for directing visitors to what they want while maintaining engagement on your website for those who are still searching. 

Every visitor to your website looks at an image with a large number of different options. The big question that interaction designers always ask is where the visitor's eyes go when they see the website. Just exaggerated; if almost an entire website is filled with shades of gray, and you create one large dancing animation in all colors of the rainbow, then there is a good chance that the visitor will mainly look at it! 

 

What is motion design?

Motion Design is the name for the technique that adds movement to your web design to draw the visitor's eyes in a certain direction. These are animations, video and moving text. In its simplest form, it is your mouse's cursor that will blink a little when it scrolls over something. The effect of these types of animations is that your 2D website suddenly gains depth, and is experienced by the visitor in three dimensions. In its most complex form, they are complete animations that are linked to the functions and segments of your website, and are themselves interactive and clickable. 

 

How do you apply motion design?

The question we always ask ourselves is how we can best apply motion design. In our experience, the first rule to follow is that the movement is not disruptive. People simply find it annoying when too much blinks and glitters on a website. You can make beautiful and elaborate motion designs, but it is important that it also fits the atmosphere of your website and your brand. Moreover, you don't need that much exercise to stand out and reach your goal of a click. In short, it is not about the amount of movement… but about the right movement! 

The second thing that helps is to think in relief. You add depth with animations and videos, making the website come to life for the eye. There are websites that turn it into works of art! But the trend in recent years is to remain slightly more functional. People see a lot of websites in a day and it is nice if it remains simple. So again, you don't have to add that much to make it work. Moreover, if you decide to add something that really catches the eye, it is often nice if the design around it does not require too much attention! 

Then you can of course also hire a motion designer to make your advertisements better and more striking. What you should pay attention to here is that you keep the recipient of the message in mind. And that you also know true your ads end up. You as a broadcaster may think that you can draw attention with very striking movements. But if the recipient doesn't want that, or if they see the ad on a website that doesn't fit your motion design at all, then you have the opposite effect. 

 

Motion Design must match Interaction Design and User Interface

Ultimately, the most important question is how you want to apply motion design to get people to navigate your website. This is where the difference between a good and a bad UX (user interface) designer comes up: where do you want the visitors to go? You quickly find out by asking a lot of questions. For example, do you want people to quickly press the 'buy' button? Or do you prefer them to stay longer in your webshop? Do you like to see people discussing a blog post? Do you want them to easily 'click' the next item after seeing an item? Or are you just telling a striking brand message? 

Actually, Motion Design does not start with the moving images, but with the question of what are the most important places where you want visitors to go on your website. If you answer that question correctly, the movement will follow automatically. 

 

Sander Baas is boss of Baas & Baas and web construction and marketing expert. Rogier van Kralingen is a writer at The Whole Story.