Ever find yourself mindlessly scrolling through social media for what feels like a few minutes, only to realise hours have passed? Us, too. Thanks to the addictive nature of apps like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, the average consumer attention span has reduced dramatically. Recent research shows that you have just 8 seconds to capture your audience’s attention – so you need to hook them from the get-go. But, with so many businesses now online, how do you stand out from the crowd?

Say you’re an established, 10-year-old business. You’ve exceeded most expectations so far, but what’s holding you back from growing is your outdated website – it’s plain, slow and unresponsive. If you want a great website that’s clean, modern and scroll-stopping, you need great content. How to make great content? Use Lottie animations.

What are Lottie animations?

Lottie is an open-source JSON-file format for adding animations to web and mobile applications.

The tool was created in 2019 by the world-renowned Airbnb to solve the complexity and tediousness of adding animations to websites. For example, although revolutionary at the time, Adobe’s now-obsolete Flash would use hefty file sizes, impacting page loading times and producing high processor loads.

Again, thanks to the likes of social media, your customers have no time to wait – if they want to view your work, services or blogs, they want to view them now. Airbnb’s innovation has changed the web development game with Lottie’s small but high-quality file size, making adding animations smooth-sailing for developers and enhancing the user experience for customers.

Lottie animations are compatible with web, iOS, Android, Windows and React Native, so you can be sure that your audience will be able to see them no matter what device or browser they use.

Why should I use Lottie animations?

The past two years have seen Lottie grow in popularity within the web developer community because it provides the seamless solution it promised, enabling developers to create beautiful digital products. In addition, for businesses, the benefits of Lottie animation include:

  • Size. The JSON-format nature of Lottie files means they are significantly smaller than other file formats such as video or GIF, increasing download speed and maximising disk space.
  • Scaling. Lottie files can be scaled up or down to any size without compromising quality. That is, the file remains incredibly small with no pixelation – music to designers’ and developers’ ears!
  • Efficiency. Lottie removes the burden of rewriting animations. Rather than contemplating the designer’s vision, developers can convert animations into code quickly and accurately, making for a smoother workflow.
  • Versatility. Lottie has many features built into its API, including supporting JSON files over the network, an optional caching mechanism and manipulation of speed animation, allowing for more versatility.
  • Library. On LottieFiles.com, the creator behind the JSON format, there are thousands of free animations available, meaning you can peruse for inspiration before proceeding with the design and development phase.

What are the benefits of Lottie animations for my customers?

Not only are animations eye-catching, but they can communicate messages more effectively than images and text. Endless lines of text can be tiring, but animations can add a touch of personality to your website, making the overall user experience a lot more enjoyable.

Are there any disadvantages of Lottie animations?

While the response to Lottie is mainly positive, as with anything, it comes with its shortcomings. Since the Lottie library doesn’t support some of the essential functions of After Effects or support Blending Modes and Layer Effects, it limits designers to focus on pure shape animations instead of particle animations or light effects.

But, in the grand scheme of things, these are relatively specific use cases; in most cases, the benefits far outweigh these minor limitations.

Community-led improvements

What’s more, Lottie seems to listen to its communities and make improvements based on their suggestions. For example, after watching businesses like The New York Times use Lottie to programmatically change the logo’s colour when users enable dark mode, they are developing the ability to change even more properties, including stroke width, opacity and position data.

Another example of a community-led improvement comes from LottieFiles.com, which allows designers and developers to test animations before using them. Beforehand, the JSON file would need to be plugged into their code to preview the animation. Now, users can drag and drop the file and preview their animation upon scanning a QR code. Such changes suggest that Lottie only aims to continue to improve the tool for the design and developer community to encourage the creativity of app developers.

Lightflows loves Lottie

Here at Lightflows, we’re very excited by the prospect of Lottie and what it can do for our clients. With Lottie, our talented team can unlock their skills that bit further to build unmatched digital products for you, helping you to stand out from the crowd and keep your customers engaged.

Do you like the idea of using Lottie to add animations to your future web or mobile application to make your business pop? If so, get in touch to learn how we can make it happen for you.

Categories: Digital Strategy, Insights