Debbie Mayo-Smith international inspirational motivational how-to speaker technology, time management, improving business performance
Motivational Speakers, Sales, Marketing, Time Management, Productivity, Technology, Tips

Having A Classy Website

The Sins of Animation

Why oh why oh why do people run animation / animated ads on their websites?
Obviously to attract attention.

While it may work sometimes, most of it could be driving valuable traffic away. Often it’s too distracting.

If you search the Internet, you'll find the classiest websites only allow animated ads that "revolve" once (a revolution is one cycle of animation). That's the rule on Yahoo!, which is one of the Web's standard-setters. The single-revolution ad is okay. You download a page, the ad/your animation appears, does its creative thing, and then it stops. You see it. You react, and then scan the rest of the page.

But the trend towards unending animated ads--ads that have some mindless, repetitive bit of animation that keeps going and going as long as the page remains open is a real turnoff to many viewers. What a distracting pain in the butt.

Do you find it hard to read something on a webpage when there's an ad in your peripheral vision jiggling away?

People spend most of their time on the Web reading. So just as people reading a newspaper or magazine will look at photographs, illustrations, and advertisements, so will web readers.

The Poynter Institute released the initial results of an eye-tracking study of how people read and use websites. Using special cameras, the researchers measured such things as the order in which users viewed various elements of a site, and the amount of time they focused on each element.

Because an earlier eye-tracking study of print newspaper usage had showed that readers first turn to photos on a page, then to headline and only then to text, everybody was surprised that the web page study found just the opposite.

This time, the attention of users was drawn first and foremost to text 92%, to a much lesser extent to photos relevant to the text, and less still to banners and graphics. Only 22% looked at the graphics. So my question is –how much are those animations working for you – or against you?

The mistake that fans of animation make is that they think the web reader, somehow, is a captive audience, the way a television viewer can be. But your online readers are anything but passive. They're active--sometimes hyperactive. They're looking for something, usually information, and the instant they feel they're not getting what they want they're gone.

Debbie Mayo-Smith (BSc Hons Econ) is an International Motivational Business Speaker and Managing Director of SuccessIS! ( and a leading specialist in easy practical ways to improve business profitability, personal productivity and Internet marketing. Debbie lives in NZ and travels the world speaking, writing and training. By the way, if you'd like to get lots of neat tricks like this, plus marketing and business development tips, why not enrol for our free newsletter?

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