The internet is an ever-changing place of information and discovery and has evolved in so many different ways over the past decade. With each step in its evolution the way information is displayed and given to the user has changed and evolved as well.
One of the biggest changes is the interactions users have with a website or web application. Technology has advanced to let us create an experience for the user, rather than just display information. When a user visits a web page now, instead of having static information we can have images that slide and fade onto the screen. We can have content move as the user scrolls or enlarges itself when the user clicks it. Animations add to the user experience by helping immerse them in the content and giving them guidance on where to look. When the user clicks a back arrow, the page might slide off the screen in a direction opposite where the arrow is pointing. When they scroll down a large page the main navigation bar might shrink so that it becomes less distracting to the user.
Example of page transition animations
Another way web interactions have evolved is voice recognition. Phones and computers with microphones can now accurately convert a user’s voice request into text, allowing them to search and type without lifting a finger. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for how technology can be designed for a user. In the video below, notice how animation impacts the user experience as they interact with Google’s voice search.
Example of Google voice search
- The screen slides down from the top
- The logo converts to waving dots letting the user know that it is waiting for their input
- The dots turn into soundwave bars while the user speaks so they know it is recognizing their voice input
- The dots then begin to spin in a circle letting the user know that it has begun to search for their query
There are numerous ways of incorporating interaction to your website and applications and the list keeps growing. So go beyond just displaying content to your users–give them an experience.