Body movin', body movin'
I stumbled into web design when studying graphic design way back in 2001 at the University of the West of England.
I had no intention of becoming a digital designer - all I was interested in was print design and motion graphics. And then I took a module in Flash.
That three-week module totally changed my outlook on web design. Suddenly all the barriers to entry around making websites were gone. In Flash, I found a tool that meant you could create websites that could move. I could lay out a page as if it were a piece of print design. My mind was blown by the endless creative possibilities it opened up. This gave me a whole new perspective on the internet. Suddenly I saw it as a place to be creative and not just a resource for downloading tunes illegally from LimeWire.
Designers like Daniel Brown and his site 'noodle box', instead of using Flash to create an interactive piece within a page, used it to create an immersive and playful website.
This showed me what was possible and expanded my view of what a website could do. They could trigger an emotional response in the user that went far beyond the functional task-orientated sites I had always associated with the internet at that time.
iPhone the Flash killer
Fast forward 6 years to 29th of June 2007 and the first iPhone was launched. Little did I know at the time that this would signify the beginning of the end of Flash. Slowly but surely, Flash became less and less relevant for creating content. The new open source, no plugins landscape for web browsers created by the iPhone had a dramatic effect on my use of Flash as a day-to-day tool for designing websites.
The web became a very static place for me, and my creative output. The only way I could add motion to my work was through video or getting developers to painstakingly re-create some basic animation I created in Flash.
By 2012 I had stopped using Flash altogether, so I started to teach myself After Effects to help bring my ideas to life through motion again.
Now with plugins like Bodymovin, we are starting to see more playful interactions and animations created by designers. This has had a real impact on how we create motion here at True. We are less reliant on developers, I can fire up After Effects, create an animation, click on Bodymovin and then out pops a JSON file. The release of extensions like Bodymovin can only be a good thing for the future of web. It opens up the power of motion to designers and animators.
We don't want to go back to the days of flash animated intros and over the top motion for motion’s sake, but with the right balance of usability and creativity, we produce sites that look good, feel good to use and help businesses build their brand online.
Get in touch to learn how you can profit from the limitless possibilities of digital design.