Cinemagraphs are moving images, similar to GIFs or “living photos.” They have become a popular element in modern website designs, because they create movement and depth on a page without distracting the website visitor from the primary message. If you’re looking for a way to update your website this year, consider adding a cinemagraph to your homepage.
Why Use Cinemagraphs in Web Design?
Still pictures are attractive, but they don’t capture the eye the way video does. Videos are attention grabbing, but placing one on your homepage often requires excessive bandwidth and can ultimately detract from the homepage experience. A cinemagraph strikes a compromise between the two. They often feature a simple GIF or video that runs on a loop and brings specific elements within an image to life in a way that focuses the user’s attention. Unlike a true GIF or video, however, only carefully selected elements within the image move.
For example, in an image of a watch, the seconds may pass as they would in real life. You may see a faint breeze run across plants in a landscape image or watch as images appear in the reflection on a window. Each cinemagraph creates subtle, but distinct movements inside images to make a user pause for a moment and think.
Developing a Cinemagraph for Your Website
Today, you can find some stock cinemagraphs on professional image sites or work with a team of professional designers to create your own unique and striking visual image. Bring a still image to life or create a branded animation of your own design. Here are some tips for using a cinemagraph on your home page or a marketing campaign landing page:
- Don’t over-animate the image. Focus on one or two elements and keep the movements subtle to catch your readers off guard. The subtle movements of a woman’s hair, rolling clouds in the sky, and water dripping from a faucet all create interest without distracting the user from the purpose of the site.
- Incorporate a written message. Use a cinemagraph to house a carefully selected tagline, call to action, or campaign message. Give site visitors every reason to engage with the content on your site with the beauty and intrigue of a cinemagraph.
- Optimize the video. Successful cinemagraphs loop seamlessly for realistic on-screen movement on desktop and mobile devices. If you don’t want to learn how to capture the video and edit it yourself, work with a team of professionals to bring your vision to life.
- Hide cinemagraphs as Easter eggs throughout your site. Take the cinemagraph experience to the next level with a few distinctive moving images hidden throughout your site. As users progress through each page, they will enjoy the experience of catching each moving element on your most important pages.
Every year, web designers and visual artists come up with new and interesting ways to capture an audience’s attention. Cinemagraphs represent one of the latest trends in web designs. Try a cinemagraph on your website this year to stand out from the competition and convert more leads.