How to add on scroll animations

Sparkle focuses a lot on what could be thought of as the first level of web design: static visual design. The visitor experience depends on the more classic design elements like color, contrast, font and geometric space. Here we will look into Sparkle’s animation feature.

The use of the word experience is very specific, because attempting to integrate animations can be both enjoyable and frustrating (hopefully bit more of the former, and less of the latter). The reason is animations can disturb the design balance a lot more than static elements. Given the illusion of life and motion, you can end up with too much, or too little, disconnected parts that don’t fit and even hurt their surroundings.

But when done right, these limited life entities make the design feel more like an organic interaction. The storytelling flows and the contents of the page become warm invitations to further exploration.

So lets play.

This is a simple design about Halloween with the intent to capture some of the fun and craziness.

Scroll animations can be applied to images, buttons, text boxes and video elements. You enable animations via a check box in the style tab. This will expose two drop down menus, one to select the animation and the other to choose the direction and type of movement. The last choice on the first menu, other, exposes a list of unconventional animations, which could work with Halloween. Below animation style choice are timing, repetition and distance controls.

Despite this being less restrictive than, say, a corporate design, we still need to be careful about the animations we choose. Our moving elements: a slab, a ghost dog, a bike decoration, three little ghosts and a pumpkin that looks like its being held by Wednesday Addams.

After some experimentation we end up with these choices:

  • A bounce for the tombstone applies the idea of weight and intimidation (within the context of Halloween).
  • A swing for the dog as the classic trope of the swinging sign of the decrepit inn present in Halloween related lore goes well with the vertical shape of the image, and the dog is the best place to put it as its completely neutral.
  • Nothing for bike decoration. There is a lot going around and in the end having a stable element provides a resting place for the eyes and makes the motion around it a lot more comfortable. Trying to perceive what is happening with multiple moving parts and no point of stability created confusion and lessened the entertainment of the effect.
  • Rubber band for the ghosts. They resemble blobs, and so the rubber animation is perfect for them, also adding to the comedic nature of their expressions.
  • Lastly tada for the held pumpkin. It generates a look! moment, similar to the pictures style which is akin to the girl preparing to offer the pumpkin to the viewer.

The end result:

As for a more regular example of the animations, in this design the delay function is used to create a linear discovery and exploration theme, while also communicating the services of the advertised company:

Please report any shortcoming in this documentation and we’ll fix it as soon as possible!

Updated for Sparkle 5.5

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