GIF, “JIF,” potato, potahto. No matter how you say it, you can’t deny that animated GIFs are pretty fantastic. So you’ll jump with joy when we say that they’re making a comeback.
BUT! Before go any further, we need to clarify something: when we say “animated GIF,” we’re not talking about those goofy celebrity loops – like Vladimir Putin riding a Ritz cracker – we’re talking about impeccably designed, professional works of art that ad equity to your brand. You know, something like this:
— Google Maps (@googlemaps) June 18, 2014
Well, look at that!
A Well done animated GIF can breath life and personality into an otherwise stale and boring website, and lets you reinforce your brand in a visually interactive way. But wait, that’s not all! Animated GIFs also do a wonderful job of illustrating concepts and mechanics – like demonstrating an application’s UX – much better than a static image ever could.
An alternative to the GIF would, of course, be video, but a video’s large size can cause issues, especially when it comes to our clinically ADHD attention spans – buffering, anyone? Video can also be seen as a little over the top, when trying to create subtle visuals that integrate seamlessly into your overall design. So ya… maybe we lied. Maybe there is no real alternative to the GIF. Maybe it’s its own beast.
GIFs in action
There’s already a bunch of websites out there that are using animated GIFs the right way. Here are two in particular that we totally dig. Check ‘em out:
Giant Ant [http://www.giantant.ca]
Giant ant is a pretty rad creative firm with an even radder website. Their GIFs are a little on the discrete side, but their impact is huge. Try hovering over the cartoony objects on their homepage to see what we mean.
Tinke is a revolutionary fitness tracker that measures a number of health factors, but their website design is what we’re really looking at today. Their awesome combination of GIFs and parallax scrolling really showcases the true potential of animated GIFs.
So in conclusion: GIFs rock. They can be useful tools and add that little extra something to set your brand apart. If you know of any cool GIFted websites out there, feel free to share so we can check them out!