Interactive elements in web design trends come and go, but one I’d like to dive into is the ever-evolving component of interactive elements and animation. While some companies have mastered the art of creating digital experiences on their websites, I’ve also seen some companies take this trend too far. Of course, if used well, it can be a powerful engagement tool. However, excessive interaction and animation that are disconnected from your brand goals can backfire and leave potential customers feeling frustrated by their user experience.
Is it possible to balance usability and delight in web design? Yes! In my opinion, companies like Apple and The New York Times are masters at creating this balance. The difference lies in harmonizing interactive elements and animations to elevate the user experience without overshadowing the core message and brand identity.
When it comes to interactive elements in web design, how much is too much?
Excessive interactivity and animation can be counterproductive. For example, while showcasing their design capabilities, Adobe’s Creative Cloud product pages have sometimes been criticized for overly complex or heavy animations, leading to slower loading times and potentially hindering user experience.
It’s easy to get carried away and implement flashy effects simply to have a “cool” site. While these effects can be fun and create energy, this approach can often dilute your core message or leave users feeling lost, ultimately missing the point of design. I believe design should always serve a purpose, and if the purpose is lost in heavy animations for entertainment’s sake, it’s time to rethink the strategy.
Interactive elements in web design should elevate your brand.
When it comes to illustrating the art of balancing interactivity and animation, few companies match Apple. Apple’s product pages are an embodiment of this principle. Despite the technical complexity and use of image assets, video clips, and animation transitions, the user experience remains pristine while staying true to its core message. The animations on Apple’s website are not just visually appealing; they serve a functional purpose, helping users understand the product, its features, and how it fits into their lives.
One of my favorites is this page featuring their Apple Watch.