If you must use animation to convey a concept, then there are a few elegant ways that you can do that. The best choices include:
Embedding a small Flash animation in a regular HTML page. You can use the advantages of Flash to your advantage by creating a Flash animation as an inset on a web page. That way, you get all the benefits of both worlds â€“ the Search Engine friendliness and ease of maintenance of a regular web page, and the animation capabilities of Flash, which can deepen your communication with your customers and your websiteâ€™s overall effectiveness.
Just make sure that you donâ€™t get carried away with embedding animations in your website. You donâ€™t want to have too many moving images tucked all around your site â€“ that would just be distracting and could make your visitors feel a little sick!
For the pros and cons of Flash and HTML, see the previous 2 posts.
Use Flash wisely â€“ on the home page, or to explain complicated processes or products â€“ and youâ€™ll benefit from it.
Animated GIFs: For simple animations, I recommend using animated GIFs. You can use these to create animations with several frames of graphics, which is often enough to create an interesting and eye-catching effect, and to illustrate simple concepts.
The pros of this approach are:
- You donâ€™t have to resort to learning a complicated program to create them. Theyâ€™re easy to create and to edit using simple graphics editing software like Photoshop and ImageReady.
- Theyâ€™re pretty easy to create â€“ and therefore, they tend to take less time and to be less expensive. And, a good number of designers know how to
- Animated GIFs also can be sent in HTML emails. Some HTML emailing programs and email reading programs arenâ€™t yet advanced enough to handle Flash files. But, your animated GIFs will translate to your HTML emails just fine.
The cons of this approach are:
- Animated GIFs arenâ€™t as advanced as Flash. You wonâ€™t be able to create smooth fades or movement using an animated GIF. But, if your animation is not very complicated, animated GIF files can work very well.