and they want their software back!
I got an alert from a friend the other day with a link to a website. I hopped over there for a peek and … holy cow! There were animations and questionable colour choices all over the place.
It took me back to the 2000s and my work on the OSAPAC Committee. Once of the products that we were able to license was Adobe Photoshop Elements. This was really big at the time. It was THE photo editing software. Of course, you could do much more that with the software. For successful implementation, it required a considerable amount of professional development sessions and that was a great deal of fun. I still have one of the tutorials for those who couldn’t attend in person.
We did things like putting your head on someone else’s body, touch up images, cropping out other things, and so much more. Also big at the time was creating animations and, of course, Adobe Flash was the standard. We were just starting to develop school and personal web preferences at the time. So Flash and animated GIFs and background music were mandatory. It didn’t take a PhD to pull it off. But it did raise the ire of the web browsing public who wanted content and not annoying distractions. Today’s browsers either don’t or won’t shortly support Flash and you now have the ability to mute tabs that want to distract you. Who needs a blaring tab when you hit a web page in the middle of the night while the family sleeps? The animated GIF, however, lives on for some reason. .gif isn’t the only format for animation; you can also do the same with .png files
Today, there are all kinds of tutorials awaiting you at YouTube.
I can remember doing one workshop and got a call later from a teacher who wanted to share her class work with me and dictated me the link. Yeah, it was a long time ago.
When I went there, there was a classful of animation just spinning or flashing or whatever. So, the students had learned part of this powerful program and undoubtedly a bit of storyboarding and layering. And they presented it like only kids can.
It was a good opportunity to have a discussion about the need for content to go with the animations. By themselves, they were just annoying.
Fortunately, most of the web has matured from that time. If you look at your favourite newspaper, the trend is toward large titles, maybe an appropriate photograph and then content. Your newspaper doesn’t waste your attention span on animated things. That’s relegated to the advertising world that is forced to compete with the actual content on the page!
These days, I haven’t created one of these things. I just don’t feel the need. I also now use GIMP as my editing package and it does the job nicely.
If you’re not interested in installing software, there are online utilities for you to use.
Now, there is a time and a place for these things. I know that some people like to use it for their logo and I don’t find that all that intrusive since I’m typically after content and have long gone past the name at the top!
I think the advice is still good – don’t confuse this stuff as content. It’s fluff, filler, and distracting. Many of your readers may not even see it as they’re using RSS or their browser’s reader mode to read your site content. The 2000s were a great time for learning how to make your computer and browser sit up and spin. I’d like to think we’ve gotten past that.