Are GIFs In or Out for Web Design?

Your Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Dubuque, or Des Moines business has been struggling to keep its webpage updated with modern trends and styles. Don’t worry: you’re far from the only person suffering from this problem. A growing number of businesses aren’t sure how to make their page stand out and need a high-quality website designer to create an innovative and memorable site.

For example, some people are now trying to integrate images known as GIFs onto their site. These images create small animation loops that are often amusing or inspiring. Is the use of these items on your website smart marketing or are you painting yourself into a corner with them? Read on to find out if you should try GIFs with your marketing or if your website designer is crazy for wanting to try them.

Benefits of Using GIFs

GIFs, when properly utilized, create a surprising array of benefits for your website that makes them useful for your website designer to understand when creating your page. Just a few of the benefits of these interesting visual images include the following aspects:

  • A More Fun Web Presence – A growing number of people want their business websites to be fun and relaxing, rather than oppressively serious. However, this factor all depends on the type of business that you run, as GIFs may not be appropriate for some companies.
  • Interesting Design Elements – Utilizing GIFs throughout your website helps it stand out from others by creating a fun and constantly-changing design. Try to use them if you feel like your website is static or uninteresting to readers, particularly your mobile users.
  • Easier Scannability – A good website should be a lot like a good newspaper: text broken up with visual elements to draw the reader through the page. GIFs can serve as an eye-catching element, when properly scattered, ones that help your readers better enjoy your site.
  • Highlight Important Sections – Lastly, GIFs can be used – sparingly
    – to highlight important areas of your site. For example, you may want to use a GIF on the “Contact Us” button to ensure that your customers find it. Your online store should also benefit from this option.

As you can see, GIFs do offer a multitude of benefits for companies likes yours. However, you also need to fully understand the drawbacks of these
design tools. Though these downsides may not outweigh the positives for you, fully grasping their impact can help you better understand what to expect if you plan on integrating GIFs on to your website in the future.

Drawbacks of GIFs

Although GIFs do have many benefits that make them an excellent choice for your website, there are some drawbacks that you need to understand before you try using them. These issues typically involve problems with computer operation or concerns with loading speed.

One GIF by itself doesn’t take up a lot of memory, thankfully, but many GIFs on a page may cause issues that can become unpredictable. As a
result, you need to understand the following points to ensure that you don’t make any GIF design mistakes:

  • May Feel Gaudy – Some people may see GIFs on a website and think that they are gaudy, which may inspire them to avoid your business.
  • Connection Slowdown – Excessive GIF use could slow down your computer by taking up too much of your memory and bandwidth. Nobody wants to visit a site that grinds to a halt.
  • Load Errors – Sometimes, sites that host GIFs take down files that may leave your site with a blank space that looks unprofessional. Try to
    host your GIFs to prevent this concern.

These simple problems might not seem like a big deal, but they can be
a deal breaker to many of your potential customers. Make sure that you fully understand these issues before using GIFs on your pages. And make sure to talk to your website designer to ensure that they know these elements.

How to Properly Use GIFs

The main drawbacks of GIFs mostly occur because people don’t use them properly. This situation is when a website designer becomes so essential. These professionals can understand what you are trying to do with GIFs on your website and actualize it in a real way. They typically do that by following these simple design tips:

  • Use Them Sparingly – Like all visual elements on a webpage, GIFs should be used sparingly. Try to scatter one or two across each of your pages – no more than that – to catch the interest of the reader. Any more and your site may appear gimmicky or run slowly.
  • Use GIFs to Punctuate Important Text – As your reader moves through
    your website and checks out your information, you should place GIFs in areas that flow naturally. For example, a GIF at the long end of a block
    of text provides a relaxing moment for the eyes that keeps your reader engaged.
  • Clear Any Potential Licensing Issues – When using GIFs on your website, you need to make sure that you aren’t using any copyrighted information. This situation can become a difficult legal situation, so try to use GIFs that integrate public domain or fair-use images.
  • Post Only High-Definition GIFs – Some designers may try to use low-quality images on your site to keep it from slowing down. Don’t let them do that: instead, you should use only a handful of high-definition GIFs to make your website look more professional and severe.

As always, the best approach here is a minimal one. Modern website design is focused on ease-of-use and a streamlined look that doesn’t overwhelm the eyes or the mind. As a result, your GIF use should follow suit and try to be minimal but appropriate. Achieving a great balance with minimum GIFs is tough, so a great designer is probably your best investment in this situation.

Professional Help Avoids These Issues

As you can see, the use of GIFs is by no means an industry-standard issue. Many people enjoy using them on their websites while others think
that they detract from the seriousness of a business page. The ultimate
choice comes down to you and your marketing team. Do you want to send a
playful message to your customers or do you want them to take you 100 percent seriously all the time?

So if your Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, or Davenport, IA business needs a high-quality website designer to integrate great GIFs onto your site, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Dotcom Design right away to get the help that you need. Our experts can hook you up with the best designers in the business and provide you with the skills necessary to make your website stand out from your competitors.

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