I read that animated gifs are making a come back but when i saw this on a private business website to get attention to a new feature, put me off.

Copy of the image : http://postimg.org/image/3zs7d2dev/054b40e0/ Question is - are animated images like this one still considered bad UX?

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    I agree that the gif in question looked very much like spam.
    – mginn
    Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 14:08
  • But it's very unclear what you're asking.
    – mginn
    Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 14:09
  • What's the question? Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 14:40
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    hmm not sure how earlier link was spam or the image? but put it in a new place and made the question explicit. i hope.
    – tgkprog
    Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 15:22
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    I didn't mean the link was spam, I just meant the gif in question looked very much like one that would be used by spam and advertisements. As such, I would not recommend it on a website.
    – mginn
    Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 16:06

4 Answers 4


Animation is fine when it's needed, for example to provide feedback in response to a user action, or—in first/early experiences—to help users understand the mental model.

In my opinion, a perpetual animation is "attention spam"—no matter how subtle. Please see my response about looming-stimulus response in this tangentially related question.

  • well, yes, many times that's the entire point, to create "attention spam", and that's why many UX designers use it: to increase sales
    – Devin
    Commented Jul 20, 2015 at 17:07

Choosing the best methods of portraying information (be it a gif or not) all boils down to the reason, design and implementation.

The example you linked to is indeed at first glance spammy and tacky looking but what if that was the intention of the designer, maybe an ironic statement. My point is without more detail on reason for the design and implementation and also target audience, judging a standalone ui element (including a gif) is difficult to do properly.

In general gif's can be very useful if they are the best method of portraying the information needed to be portrayed.

There are some good examples on this link on potential uses of an animated gif: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5-uses-for-animated-gifs-other-than-annoying-memes/

These include:

  • Provide Visual Instructions
  • Enhance Product Illustrations
  • Demonstrate UX

enter image description here


Animated gifs themselves aren't bad UX, quite often, subtle, animated buttons can draw a users attention and aid navigation.

In this case it's not the UX part of the design that is poor, it is the design of the animated gif itself.

Animated gifs aren't inherently bad UX; the quality of the user experience is defined by how they are used.


Animated gif's are considered as spam because of the advertisements that pops up all over a website. It has created a false opinion within users that an animated gif might be a spam and it may take to some other websites clicking it. The probability of clicking the gif image is very low if it is used as a button. As of my opinion consider using gif images in appropriate places

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    sorry, but where do you base this from? I can show you hundreds of analytics where the animation means a substantial increase in clicking (As in up to 1000%), so this answer is quite surprising, please include some research or study to back it up
    – Devin
    Commented Jul 20, 2015 at 17:05
  • @Bharath I'd like to see examples of animated buttons. Can you point me to some?
    – JeromeR
    Commented Jul 20, 2015 at 23:08
  • Hi @devin I agree with your comment, but the substantial increase in clicking animation makes it more used by spammers. It's attractive and it makes user to take a moment to see what that is. And the i'm talking about the animated gif's the whole image used as a banner kind of thing and used as advertisements. Can you please show me an example where gif image used for potential clickable button. My views might be wrong, I may change it if I see some real world examples. Commented Jul 20, 2015 at 23:31
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    @jeromer mostly animated buttons in most websites are HTML animations the use of gif as buttons is very low because of some disadvantages like the blocky or pixelated appearance. But in case of banners it is used widely.. You can find some examples here myecommerce.biz/Banner-Samples-GIF-Animated.html Commented Jul 20, 2015 at 23:53
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    @Baranth I clicked the link to sample animated gifs, with a very amusing outcome: every single animated example on the page is automatically blocked by my ad-blocker. (My Internet service provides this ad-blocking service. I can't configure it, I can only switch it on or off.) That's anecdotal evidence to suggest an animated gif as a CTA trigger is a poor decision, because I daresay users won't click what they cannot see. (CTA = call to action, the desired user action, such as Buy, Subscribe, or Download.)
    – JeromeR
    Commented Jul 21, 2015 at 2:40

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