Digital technology has advanced more in the last 10 years than anyone might have imagined. Trends emerge every year, and some stay while others flop. One trend that’s been around a while now is the use of motion graphics, where designs combine elements such as beautiful typography, images and video, and create movement that is realistic and animated at the same time.
The average motion designer makes $62,000 per year. Adding motion design to your resume seems like a smart move, especially for freelancers who work fewer hours and make about $3,000 more per year than their company-employed counterparts.
In addition to the potential for higher earnings, adding motion graphics benefits your designs and your clients in a number of ways. There are many advantages of using motion graphics in your designs.
By 2020, 80 percent of all online traffic will be people watching videos. When you stop and think about the billions of people online, with the vast majority of them viewing videos, the choice of enhancing your website with this emerging trend makes sense.
When you add motion graphics to your videos and on your website, visitors instantly engage with the site upon landing there. Your bounce rate will likely go down, and users are more likely to pay attention to your message.
The trailer for the video game “Wide Sky” uses motion graphics to illustrate some of what the game is about. The technique grabs the user’s interest because the background appears authentic while the motion graphics look animated. The use of animation lends a fun tone to any website or video. Since the video promotes a game, it makes sense to keep it fun and whimsical through the use of animation.
One of the most important parts of branding is creating a cohesive message users identify with your company. You likely have a presence across many different platforms, both online and off. Adding branding to each of those elements isn’t an easy task. However, with your videos, you can easily share motion graphics with your logo and brand name in the same spot and with the same style in every video you release. If videos are not your strong suit you can always try a free online video maker as well.
Motion graphics don’t always have to appear in a long video. Smaller elements, such as a moving logo or other moving pieces on a website page, grab user attention and set your site apart from your competitors. You can also make just a portion of your logo moveable and leave other elements static. Apply the concept to any part of your site where you wish to draw user attention.
SuperShuttle adds motion graphics to its website and captures user attention from the moment site visitors land on the homepage. A shuttle looks as though it is driving as the background changes and the van passes various buildings and trees. The effect is simple but striking.
Designers should pay attention to the way the logo grabs attention but should also ensure it loads quickly. Vital motion graphics must be optimized for all types of devices. If the moving parts stall or crash a mobile device, they aren’t sufficient for half or more of your audience.
When people see and hear information, they are much more likely to retain the facts. The human brain processes images faster than words, so motion graphics get your point across much more efficiently than words alone. Picture elements of an infographic that fly in as a spokesperson explains the mission of your brand. The viewer is much more likely to retain the information than without visual illustrations.
Around 79 percent of people skim over what they see on the internet rather than reading in depth. You’re competing with thousands upon thousands of other companies clamoring for notice. When you tell a story, though, you connect with people on an emotional level, and suddenly they stop and listen.
This Apple Watch video tells the story of what the product does for the user. Motion graphics highlight some of the features of the watch face and add bright colors to highlight the narrator’s words. Designers should take note that the motion graphics used in the video highlight the product and draw attention to the words from the script.
One of the most significant benefits of motion graphics used in videos is repurposing the potential of videos. Since so many people watch videos online, adding your engaging clips to social media sites or sending out a video in an email engages users and encourages sharing with others.
Social media posts with videos get shared more frequently than those with text only. Educate or entertain your audience, and they’re likely to tell others about what you’re doing.
Adding motion graphics to your website doesn’t have to involve a lot of time or money. Start small with your logo or a moving element in an infographic. Then, as you find what works with your particular target audience, move to more extended content such as videos with motion graphics.
Motion graphics are another tool every design professional should have. With the addition of animated elements, your website will stand out from others and become more engaging and shareable.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner