Does Animation and Multimedia Serve a Purpose in Web Design?

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In days gone by, SEO experts use to warn against using animation such as flash, simply because Google crawlers couldn’t read the flash files and thus couldn’t read your website. So rankings on flash based websites suffered severely.

While there is something to say for a simplistic website or a flat-designed website, there is also something to say about highly animated and multimedia-filled websites. After talking to a client, if they want all of the bells and whistles, you have to provide. Use your skills to create sound files and animations, add video footage, and place pictures to enhance any website. Make sure you are judicious about what you choose to do and always be aware of who you can include in these forms of multimedia.

Of course, above all you have to be able to see when you should use a type of animation or multimedia and when you shouldn’t. Just because you can doesn’t always mean that you should.

Images
Of course, you will have a few images on your website, but using them in a way that shows them off in the best possible way will utilize the multimedia we have available. Create slideshows or galleries that visitors can page through at their own speed or that go off automatically.

Embed them, when possible, with HTML so that if someone isn’t using the best connection and they don’t display, there is at least text there to explain what should be there.

Video Footage
Embedding videos is a great way to really show off a brand’s story or integrate people into your company. Use videos to highlight different parts of a company as well and to give a “call to action” for your clients.

If you are going to use video, make sure to add subtitles for people who either can’t use their volume and for people are deaf. Sometimes reading text can nail the point better than a video can, but the visualization will help.

Sound Files
Sound is probably the most under-used multimedia function that you can put on a website. This is because it is difficult to actually get people to click on them and you don’t really want to have things that automatically play.

Still, recorded speech of information can be a great part of your design. Add sound files from podcasts, commercials, interviews, or reviews if you so wish.

Animations
Flash objects can be a little tricky, but they can also impress potential customers when used correctly. The advantages include adding media and dynamic content that fits within on part of your page, opening up blank space for even more. The content has to be well done and must flow properly.

Consider doing the same thing with animations that you did with images: adding alt-text that can describe what should have been there if things didn’t load properly.

Remember to keep any website that you do the web design on simple and to the point. You want to really consider adding multimedia and animation elements if you are working on the web design for a mobile website. Use your best judgement, even if the company you are working with wants everything and some glitter thrown on top.