Working to improve your UX designs in the intensely competitive marathon that is online marketing? Use interactive SVG animation to turn your website’s digital presence into a dynamic system that secures user retention and establishes brand loyalty!

If you are still feeling hesitant about creating interactive SVG animations, you’ll definitely change your mind by the time you’re done reading this article. We’ll get into easy and intuitive ways to create them. Once you are using the right tools and discover the benefits of these future-proof graphics, the learning curve will feel less intimidating!

One of the biggest benefits of interactive animation is that it secures user engagement above the fold and below it. Hover animation, click animation, and scroll animation can all put microinteractions in motion to exponentially improve the customer journey.

Up to 90% of today’s consumers expect the websites they visit to have an interactive design. They are considerably more likely to visit your website again if they were able to interact with it. This behavioral pattern has driven web designers away from heavy and resolution-dependent rasters, toward using future-proof SVG files.

By SVGator

What makes SVG files future proof? Not only are they responsive and infinitely scalable, but even seemingly complex interactive SVG animations are a lightweight alternative to raster graphics. This means that an interactive animation won’t slow down your page load time, especially when compared to rasters.

So leverage the upper hand that SVGs give in the vector vs. raster debate! Double down on the perks of the SVG format by incorporating interactivity. You can increase the average time on page with a clipping mask that gradually reveals more about upcoming events, just like you can push your brand identity into the spotlight with an interactive logo.

SVG interactivity is quickly becoming a responsive web design standard practice!

SVG Interactivity

Were you browsing the web in the days of Flash animations? Then the thought that SVG interactivity sounds suspiciously similar to Adobe’s player must have crossed your mind.

No need to worry - we’re not reverting to the era of cascading plug-in crashes (as of December 21, 2020, all major browsers have stopped supporting Flash).

Of course, we can’t deny the fact that Flash was a groundbreaking piece of tech back when it was released in 1996. But nostalgia aside, in today’s ever-shifting digital environment, there’s an insatiable demand for responsive, lightweight, and user-centered designs. Tools, interfaces, and web development as a whole all center around providing the ultimate user experience. This is the demand that the interactive SVG format excels at fulfilling!

What is SVG interactivity?

Scalable vector graphics can be both animated and interactive.  SVG animations that are triggered through user-initiated actions will create the illusion of real-time interactivity between the user and your website.

Unsure how real-time digital interaction influences user engagement? Think of it this way: static content provides a one-way monologue, while interactive animation encourages a two-way conversation. This means that every user input is met with a sense of acknowledgment and an instant response!

What are the advantages of using interactive SVG animations?

The potential gain when using interactive animations is nothing short of amazing! You can create an immersive and memorable digital user experience without negatively impacting page performance. Let’s get right into the specifics!

Engagement-fueling microinteractions

Microinteractions are the subtle feedback that let users know that their actions are recognized, and executed, by your web page. They encourage engagement because they mimic human interactions, acting like a friend does when they nod and smile to acknowledge seeing you.

These microinteractions can be as subtle as a “pay” button turning into a checkmark on click. But they can also be as vibrant as a confetti pop when the user hovers over the “subscribe” button.

Increased average time on page

An interactive animation maker can also help minimize the transitional phase when going from a static page to a dynamic layout, which will grab the user’s attention. You’re sure to see an increase in the average time spent on page once you switch to a more interactive web design.

Something as simple as an event timeline that the user can animate on scroll will turn the customer journey into a more immersive experience. That extra minute of time on page can make the difference between discouraging bounce rates and a higher conversion probability. The latter is more likely to happen when you use interactive SVG animations!

Easy to find basic sections

To set the stage for user-centric intuitive page navigation, you can guide the customer’s attention with visual cues. Use interactive SVG elements that animate on scroll to make basic sections like pricing, testimonials, or contact information easy to spot.

By taking the guesswork out of the equation, an intuitive web design eliminates the chances of users getting confused. When customers are having trouble finding specific information, user retention is significantly less likely to occur. Interactivity makes page navigation a smooth and straightforward part of the customer journey.

More attention drawn to “call to action” buttons

A CTA button is the final barrier between the user and your goal conversion. Are you already using a catchy and persuasive call-to-action phrase but not seeing a definite improvement in conversion rates? Interactive animated CTA buttons might just give you that extra edge needed to seal the deal.

Newsletter sign-ups, offers of free ebooks, and even free trials are becoming less efficient simply because of oversaturation. If these CTAs are also a passive and static part of the layout, user conversion is even harder to attain. The user engagement boost that comes with interactivity is a powerful trump card that you should take advantage of!

click animation
By Shane Herr

Satisfying immediate feedback on click

Animating an SVG on click mimics the reassuring feedback that we expect when we physically interact with our environment. Know how you anticipate a clicking sound and resistance when rotating a washing machine dial to select a new program? You can replicate that reassuring direct feedback in digital space with interactive graphics that acknowledge a user’s actions. For example, make your “add to shopping cart'' icon do a 360-degree flip and change color on click. Or morph an icon into a download progress bar to reassure the user that the click registered.

An animated clickable vector graphic that's triggered on user input can also help prevent confusion. A button that doesn't change whatsoever once clicked can leave the impression of a bug or delay in the system. Instant feedback can make the user's virtual dialogue with your website much more satisfying and lifelike.  

start animation on click
By Roman Bulakh

Icons come to life

The versatility and small size of icons are the main reasons why we’re still using them 40+ years after digital icons became “a thing.” That being said, icons have been constantly morphing throughout the evolution of GUI design. And with screens getting smaller and smaller, they’re not going out of style anytime soon. The next obvious step is to give them a future-proof interactive and dynamic appeal!

An interactive SVG icon can enhance the look and feel of your UI on any screen size without cluttering your page’s layout. For example, you can animate the search magnifying glass icon to make it easier for customers to find information quickly. Fine details like this will convert a dull UI design into an engaging one.

You can interactively animate these already existing icons.

Captivating dynamic logos

Struggling to raise brand awareness in a highly competitive field? Motion is the best attention-grabbing quality you can give your logo to make it stand out! Interactive animated logos work subliminally and are efficient at increasing brand memorability with each repeat customer interaction.

Patience management with interactive loaders/progress bars

Right now, in the digital era, a human’s attention span is a mere 8 seconds long. It’s no wonder users have little patience to spare when it comes to loaders of any type. So, how do we manage unavoidable situations in which the user encounters an SVG loader or progress bar?

By SVGator

The solution is no more complicated than just entertaining the customer! Occam’s razor applies to UI design as well, and it should encourage you to take the simplest approach. Use a button with a progress indicator, and those “grueling” few seconds that it takes to download a file will fly by!

Don't just take our word for it, try the button below.

Visual prompts for an info-packed, minimalist layout

Shrinking viewports are driving UI and UX designers to discover better ways to say more with less. But minimalist layouts still have to do most of the storytelling that a brand’s identity is built on. What does all of this have to do with animated SVG files? Not surprisingly, they’re the solution that’s hiding in plain sight!

Interactive SVG animations are pros at conveying more information than their passive counterparts. You can condense page content by displaying information on demand, as a feedback to user interaction. Showing more only on demand, rather than on load, also has a positive influence on UX. The customer journey feels more personalized because it revolves around the user’s input.

Types of interactive SVG animations

SVG animations are becoming indispensable for a web development strategy that aims for better usability and responsiveness. Making these same animations interactive just extends the reach of your creative talent. You can boost a page’s entertainment value without settling for less-than-ideal web performance.

Interactive animations have only recently entered the spotlight. And even though they’ve been growing in popularity over the last few years, there are still very limited tool options when it comes to creating them. There are some Javascript libraries that somewhat address this need, but if you don’t want to do any coding, you can create interactive SVG animations from scratch with SVGator without having to write a single line of code!

With SVGator, you can control an SVG file’s interactivity settings when you’re ready to export. SVG animations can be set to start on load (by default), on click, on scroll, or on hover. Let’s get into the features of these SVG interactivity options and the use cases that they’re each best suited for:

Trigger animations on click

How do you decide when to use on-click interactivity? The decision process starts when you’re mapping out the customer journey. Try to identify the user experience pain points that can be addressed with the quick-fix that is interactivity. This could be something as minor as users being left with a sense of uncertainty at one point. For example, a clickable button that doesn’t display immediate feedback once clicked can cause confusion.

SVG animations that are triggered on click offer a clear visual response that their action has set things in motion behind the scenes. As a case in point, on-click interactivity works to make form-submission pages significantly more intuitive. Anything from a color change to a button that morphs into a hand that gives users a high-five! As basic or as elaborate as you want it to be, an animation triggered on click will mimic the familiar response of real-life two-way communication.

The cherry on top: with SVGator, you can also decide how the SVG animation reacts on a user’s second click. Depending on your particular use case, the animation can be set to pause, restart, reverse, or continue on a second click. You can preview the interactivity settings you’ve selected, in the same panel, before exporting the ready-to-use SVG file.

Suggested use cases for click animation Not recommended
✔️ Social media animated icons to encourage users to become followers (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, etc.). ❌ If the SVG buttons/icons aren’t clickable and won’t trigger a response from the website (accessing a link, starting a download, submitting a sign-up form, etc.).
✔️ Interactive sign-up links (subscribe to mailing list, register to get free ebooks, join raffles, etc.). ❌ If the clickable animation will be distracting the user from following through with your page’s call-to-action.
✔️ Download buttons that morph into progress bars.
✔️ CTA buttons in general (subscribe, download, claim, order, add to cart, etc.).

Try the interactive animation below, click on the image to start the animation!

Trigger animations on hover (mouse over)

Feeling discouraged by the thought of learning how to navigate the intricacies of CSS hover animation? You’ll be happy to find out that SVGator provides a no-code workaround for this as well. You simply have to set your animated SVG to start on mouse over (hover) when exporting, and you’re all set. No code writing, no extra workload for developers, just ready-to-use code!

When exporting animations triggered on hover from SVGator, you can control what happens as a follow-up to the initial user interaction. Similarly to setting what happens on the second click, SVG hover animations can be set to pause, reset, reverse, or continue on mouse out.

Now for the fun part: hover animation interactivity basically expands your creative playground in any viewport. While it’s recommended that you keep click animation practical and focused on usability, hover effects can be used on a broader scale -- all the while keeping the customer success journey in focus, of course!

Suggested use cases for hover animation Not recommended
✔️ Engaging microinteractions with animated icons (live chat, download, feedback score, etc.). ❌ Avoid bombarding the user with too much movement. An off-balance ratio between static and dynamic elements can turn an engaging and intuitive layout into a confusing & overwhelming one.
✔️ Background animation that breathes life into a static layout as the user begins to interact with your website. ❌ Test touchscreen usability if you’re designing primarily for desktop. Some hover effects can hinder usability and intuitive navigation for customers browsing on mobile devices.
✔️ CTA buttons that feel like a 1-on-1 conversation when morphed into speech bubbles on hover.
✔️ Animated SVG logo that scales-up on hover to boost brand recognition and memorability
✔️ Anticipated excitement with animated CTA buttons that encourage decision making (like sign-up buttons that buzz on hover).

Trigger animations on scroll

A major benefit when you animate an SVG on scroll is that you can create an immersive user experience with ease. Animations become stand-ins that help you capture a customer’s attention, paving the way for remarkable visual storytelling. For instance, having SVG characters convey your brand story feels more personal and vivid, rather than having users read an “About us” block of text.

If you decide to use this impactful UX-enhancing technique and you’re exporting animated artwork from SVGator there are two things you should note:

To make this SVG interactivity setting work, you’ll need to add it inline to your website.

No need to make any changes to the code itself, but you’ll just need to choose this particular implementation option. On scroll SVG animations won’t work with <object> or <img> tags.

In the export panel, you can decide how quickly the animation starts as the user scrolls through the website. Customizing the view percentage gives you control over how much of the animation should be visible in the viewport before the animation gets triggered. By default, SVGator recommends a 25% view, but feel free to adjust it as you see fit!

Suggested use cases for scroll animation Not recommended
✔️ Animations that exclusively bring entertainment value to the table are perfect for on-scroll interactivity. ❌ Similar to hover animations, scroll-triggered animations shouldn’t push the limits of a user’s attention span. It’s easy to go overboard given how versatile and fun SVG animations are!
✔️ Easily make timeline walkthroughs feel and look more elaborate (project, process, growth, evolution timelines), compared to static.
✔️ Trace the steps for an intuitive customer journey with animations that encourage users to scroll further into the content.
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Unlike other SVG animators, SVGator doesn’t require extra tools, plug-ins, or code writing to make animations interactive. The only “coding decisions” you'll have to make when exporting your artwork is to choose the appropriate animation type. You can choose between CSS and Javascript. Here’s a quick guide to choosing your animation type:

SVGator Export Options JavaScript CSS
Animate on click ✔️ Yes ❌ No
Animate on hover ✔️ Yes ✔️ Yes
Animate on scroll ✔️ Yes ❌ No
Animate on load ✔️ Yes ✔️ Yes

Conclusion

Interactive SVG animation bridges the gap between what makes a website engaging and what makes it functional (usability, intuitive navigation, coherent layout, etc.). So, it’s no wonder it has gained so much traction in recent years! On top of that, the use of vector graphics is becoming the status quo when it comes to future-proof UX designs.

Expanding the versatility of the SVG format with animation and interactivity is a technique that’s on its way to becoming a web design standard. And now that you know the ins and outs of interactive animation, it’s time to put your boundless creativity to work!

Start out with SVGator and practice to see how easily you can streamline your workflow when you’re using the right animator tool. Feel free to reach out and show us your creations!