When we are new to the web, anything that moves
on a page seems really cool. After all, we've read newspapers and magazines
all our lives, and nothing ever moves. So moving things are cool, right?
Well, they might be. Motion and animation, even sound
do have their place. But be aware of what a distraction they can be.
Why? Anyone who's
spent even a few weeks surfing the Web has already seen an animated flag.
The first one might seem cool. The next few are ho-hum. But soon, they become
an outright annoyance. You are interested in the page's content. You came
there to learn about something. But your eyes keep getting dragged away from
the meat of the page and back to this waving animation. And the more such
gee-gaws you put into a page, the bigger an irritation they become.
Animations and motion can be
used sparingly to call attention to a very important message on the page.
Use them ONLY to make a point. They should NEVER be used just for the sake
of having an animation. They should only be used when they help
tell the story. And even when they do seem to make sense, it might be well
to have them run for a short while then turn off. The page author can never
accurately second guess what visitors came there to see. Don't force their
eyes where they don't want to focus them.