Web creators are on a never-ending quest to update their websites with the most cutting-edge, trendy design effects that represent the true value of their product or service. But between color palettes, typography, responsiveness, content strategy, and so much more, the thought of advanced design techniques can be somewhat intimidating. One of the best ways to achieve a website whose design is worth their salt is to look to your peers for inspiration. Asking yourself what you love about their designs, how it can be relevant to your design, and how you want to modify it for your needs can actually be really simple.
Let’s check out these nine examples of creative website animations and start learning from the pros.
Handwrytten: Beautiful Subtlety
The animation techniques that Handwrytten uses in the hero section of their homepage are a poignant representation of their product itself: combining pen and ink. One key value in this design (among others) is that the website visitor immediately understands the benefits that the product offers, and what he will gain by using it.
The photograph of a hand-written card juxtaposed with the cartoon illustration really says it all. As for the other design elements on the page, the clean white and black color scheme with hints of sunset orange strike a balance of sophistication and artistic flair. After browsing this website, we’re certainly motivated to look around further and learn more about Handwrytten’s product.
Crisp: Effective Design Details
Crisp adds minor animation effects to their vector illustrations that convey resonant brand messaging despite the illustrations’ small size. The understated animation of each vector illustration does indeed add a human touch to crisp’s brand persona. We especially love the animated bonfire in the section that discusses customer support. It adds life to the minimalist, flat design that’s elegantly used throughout the homepage. This is the perfect way to use these trendy flat design techniques while still adding the joie de vivre necessary for an exciting user experience.
Corebook: Starting With Dark Mode
Corebook welcomes the visitor to their website in full dark mode, with subtle and sleek animations as you scroll down the site. In their own unique way, Corebook finds a way of designing hero animations that are easily and clearly visible, despite the lack of contrast between the dark grey upon its black background.
The choice of animation content is minimalist yet informative. This is made possible with just a few square shapes and colors, the animations illustrate the type of finished product (a brand book) that clients will have in-hand after joining Corebook: their very own brand book that reaches industry standards and looks modern, trendy, and sophisticated.
Best Day Ever Education: Artsy Animal Design
Best Day Ever uses a looped animation technique so that their animal illustrations don’t rely on triggers to keep moving. Whichever illustration is visible to the website visitor is continuously moving as long as it can be seen on the screen.
There’s a content-first approach throughout the page, as the words and sentences are brief and no longer than they need to be. It is exactly this type of approach that pairs so well with friendly animations, with the combination of minimal text with an upbeat, colorful design. The animals’ movements not only bring life to the text they’re paired with, but they achieve a conversational experience for every user.
Best Day Ever’s website is a prime example of how you can take one idea and design principle (in this case the theme of combining energetic freshness with subtlety) and represent it consistently through your color scheme, your content strategy, and your advanced design effects.
Wonderful Weekends: Designed for Play
Who doesn’t love the classic ball pit? Using its classic brand colors on a white background, Google strikes gold, yet again.
With one single mouse tracking effect, Google manages to pull off a user experience that makes the website visitor feel like he’s actually inside of a ball pit! And when you scroll down the page, all that happens is that the balls get bigger. There’s no content below the balls, which is exactly what it’s like in the real thing.
Google manages to provide us with an immediate, sensational understanding of what this product is for, and they do so with a simple hero text title description and CTA button.
We know that Google is about to help us plan our next adventure that won’t disappoint us. And did you see the color-changing effects when you hover over the button? This is the first time we’ve seen a button whose hover effect changes to four separate colors, rather than changing from one color to another.
In Pieces: Putting Together a Visual Story
It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Before our very eyes, we see animated abstract shapes moving around and forming an illustration of an animal. It sparks our curiosity, admiring the beautiful animals and wondering, which other animals have they used?
This is exactly the thought process that you want your website visitor to have. You’re telling him a visual story, and you want him to turn to the next page of that story.
If you think about it, storytelling and the cause of endangered species have a lot in common: they’re both about drawing the listener’s attention and convincing him (albeit subtly) that your subject matter is of prime importance, aka worth listening to.
MA True Cannabis: Scrolling in 3D
The cannabis industry is still pretty novel and fresh, so it makes sense for a website that sells it as a product will need a look and vibe that feels the same.
Let’s stop to appreciate just how many design techniques are happening on the homepage alone: a slideshow background behind collections of animated images, 3D effects, rotating words…and it all looks beautiful.
How could anyone see this homepage and not want to explore the website further? It’s only if you do this that then you can then see the jaw-dropping animations becoming even more fabulous as you scroll down.
We love how once you descend down the page, the jar spins down, and the objects on the colored background slide to the margins of the page as the background turns white. So creative. The lower you go, more beautiful 3D objects are maintaining an upward vertical scrolling effect.
All of these techniques combined create a feeling like you just want to keep going and reading more of the website, even just to see the intriguing visuals and what the designers have come up with next.
If you navigate to the other pages, you’ll see that the 3D objects from the homepage’s hero content have become a permanent part of the background, while still floating and moving around. This choice of continuity allows for holistic storytelling which draws the point closer to home: We are an awesome product.
RappiPay: Simplicity is Key
Is it the color scheme, the 3D design, the understated image movement, or the credit card illustration that descends in an acrobatic-like movement as we scroll down the homepage?
It’s a little bit of everything.
The color scheme here goes a long way. The shades of orange surrounded by lots of white space and a simple, rounded sans-serif font all work together so holistically. But what really takes the cake here is the animation techniques used for the credit card illustration.
RappiPay gets our vote for originality and for remarkable engagement. The site content guides the visitor down the page until he hits rock bottom, because as the credit card glides so smoothly down the page, it triggers other images and illustrations to appear. And in between the credit card’s interaction with other elements, such as revealing bills of cash or drawing dotted lines around a sphere, the card shows off acrobatic flips all the way down.
Just as the credit card tells the story well, full of action and vitality, it ends on a high also. The circular cutout at the end showing the card owner’s purchases tells us just how many features and capabilities this one card has, and how the card owner really took it everywhere and anywhere.
The words minimalistic and cutting-edge are all we can think of here. If a picture says a thousand words, we’d say that an animated picture tells 5,000 or probably even more.
Let’s Get Moving
OK, now it’s your turn. The animation techniques we’ve listed here are only a tiny fraction of what web creators can accomplish when adding animated features to their websites. More and more inspiration becomes available every day, and there’s so much to see and learn. Our motto as designers is to start with the basics, and as you have simple animation practices under your belt, your website can show the world what it means to be a mover and shaker.