Animated Website Background: Common Mistakes To Avoid To Ensure An Enjoyable User Experience

Brian Bojan Dordevic
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Brian Decoded

President at Alpha Efficiency

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Are you thinking about using background animation in your next web design? Or perhaps you have tried creating an animated website background before, but it didn’t perform well?

When not crafted correctly, background animations undermine website performance by distracting users from the main content and compromising loading speed.

Conversely, well-designed animated backgrounds boost user engagement and make your site stand out from its competitors. The trick is sticking to background animation best practices and avoiding some common mistakes.

In this article, I’ll share 4mistakes web designers usually make when designing animated backgrounds. I’ll also tell you the best practices my Los Angeles web design company applies to avoid those mistakes and enhance user experience when working on animated designs.

Table of Contents:
Animated website background

The Power Of Background Animation in Website Design – Core Benefits

Animations have always held a special place in the web design world; today, animation, motion storytelling, and element movement are among the main web design trends for 2024.

Why is animation becoming so popular in website design? Because Movement usually beats static websites. Animation draws users’ attention at first glance, keeps them entertained and engaged, and is highly memorable. While you may struggle to achieve all this with a static design, you can easily do it by implementing an animated website background.

Let’s take  a look at the benefits you can get from using an animate background design:

  • Enhanced User Engagement: One of the main benefits of background animation is that it can make your overall web design more engaging. Animations give life to your background, making them more attractive to visitors. You can use this technique to create a design flow that keeps users engaged and leads them seamlessly through your website conversion funnel.
  • Stand Out From Your Competitors: The majority of websites still have static backgrounds. By adding animation to yours, you give the website a unique appeal that will make it stand out from the competition. There are countless creative ways you can use web page effects to enhance the user experience and create a distinctive online presence.
  • Unique Storytelling Capabilities: An animated background can also be a powerful storytelling tool. Animation elements are an interactive and innovative way to convey messages and emotions, and connect with users. For example, a video background can help you add snippets of your brand’s story or mission, helping you connect with your audience.
  • Increased Visitor’s Time on Your Site: Another great advantage of using an animated background is that it increases the time visitors spend on your website. As mentioned, this technique boosts engagement and evokes an emotional connection among users. That causes web visitors to stay longer on your site, further explore your content, and ultimately increase your chances of turning them into customers.

Background Animation Common Mistakes And How To Overcome Them To Ensure An Enjoyable User Experience

Like any web design animation, you must check the pros and cons before including this technique in your project. Choosing an animation effect is a decision that goes beyond aesthetics. Whether you should or shouldn’t use this technique will depend on whether it suits your website’s purpose and adds real value to your design.

Exploring the cons or when an animation background can do more damage than good will help you confirm if this animation effect fits your current project:

Too Much Movement Causes Distraction

Background effects are innovative and eye-catching, but too much movement can take all the attention away and distract visitors from your main message. If that happens, you have a big functionality problem on your hands; visitors will enjoy your site background animation but never find what they are looking for or take the steps to become clients.

Solution: Moderation is a strength when it comes to website animation. It’s crucial to refrain from filling the screen with an overflow of animation. Every UI animation element should have a clear purpose for being on your web design. If you think an animated background will enhance user experience and boost engagement, then go for it.

Keeping things simple will guarantee your web visitors have a pleasant browsing experience. A well-crafted, simple background animation will reinforce your most important message and communicate it to your website users clearly.

Heavy Backgrounds May Cause Slow Loading Speed

Slow loading time example

Using large videos or animated images in your animated website background can lead to slow site loading, which can compromise your website’s performance. Loading times are crucial for two reasons: First, users’ waiting spam for a site to load is about 3-4 seconds; keep them waiting longer, and they will likely hit the back button. And secondly, loading time is a significant SEO ranking factor.

Solution: Optimize your background animation effects to ensure optimal loading speed. Use lightweight animations to ensure they don’t slow down your pages, especially on mobile devices. If you have to choose between a beautiful but heavy background and a good-loading page, always opt for the latter.

Fast loading times provide an enjoyable user experience from the beginning of the user’s journey on your website. So, when using background effects, I recommend testing your site speed to ensure they don’t jeopardize fast loading.

Not Always Compatible With Mobile Devices

Website background animation on mobile devices

Since more and more individuals are using mobile phones to visit websites, a mobile-friendly approach is always encouraged. The problem with complex background effects is that they are not always compatible with mobile devices. And when they are, they can consume a lot of data. Those factors can contribute to a poor user experience for mobile users.

Solution: Always go with a mobile-friendly web design. If a large part of your audience visits your site from mobile devices, you must adapt your design to offer them a seamless user experience. Optimize your design to create responsible background animations that adapt to different devices and screen sizes.

Test your design on small screens and request feedback from your audience. If your animated website background is not fit for mobile phones, you can always disable it until you get a chance to optimize it.

It Can Make Reading Text Difficult

If most of your content is text and you use a background animated video, that can also be an issue. Trying to read the text and the video simultaneously can be annoying or even impossible. And if the colors from the background match the color of the foreground content, that could make things even worse and further compromise readability.

Solution: Enhance accessibility by ensuring optimal readability. Adjust your web design color palette to make your text easy to read. This may involve making some color changes or readjusting your background elements.

Which Animation Should You Choose? – Best Types Of Animates Website Backgrounds

Ready to try some innovative background effects in your next project? To help you decide which type of background animation better suits your design, I compiled a list of my personal top 3 effects. Take a careful look at it, and see which animation has the ideal features to enhance your web design.

Parallax Scrolling

Parallax scrolling is a classic website page effect with the power to turn your pages into an immersive experience. It is a simple effect that can go a long way. In parallax web design, the background moves data different speed than the foreground content, usually at a slightly slower pace.

This method creates a subtle 3D effect that is captivating and engaging. As people’s attention span keeps increasing, you must find new ways to encourage visitors to scroll down your site and explore your content. Parallax scrolling is a fantastic way to achieve that.

Website scroll animation can be used to enhance user experience, facilitate the scrolling process, highlight important content, draw attention to specific sections of the web page, or increase storytelling.

Video Background

Video backgrounds have been a popular animation trend for a few years, and for good reason. Not only do they add visual appeal to your web design, but they also offer a number of benefits to enhance your users’ digital experience.

One of the key advantages of using video backgrounds for your landing pages is the opportunity to enhance your storytelling strategy. Through this design method, you can share a visual story about your brand’s personality, mission, and personal values, in an engaging and memorable way.

With the rise of social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, users are used to consuming video content. Why not use that technique to your advantage? A video background will make your website look more attractive to visitors, and your brand will establish a modern and positive first impression.

Animated Patterns And Texture

If you want to go for something simpler and clean but that still adds some pizzazz to your web design, consider animated textures or patterns. These can go from simple gradient colors or ripple animations to more complex animated website background effects. You can create those effects using image and video editing software, such as Adobe After Effects.

Animated patterns and textures will give your website a modern and edgy feel without taking things too far. This style works perfectly for minimalist graphic design or luxury brands that look for clean and subtle animated backgrounds.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know which common mistakes to be mindful of, you can start working on your own background animation design.

This animation effect will help you attract new customers for your clients by keeping users engaged and showing them your offerings in an innovative and immersive way.

By following animated website background best practices, you can leave your creativity free and still ensure an enjoyable browsing experience for your site users.


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