Motion Sickness

Came across this site catalog recently:

http://hoverstat.es/

It is a gallery of new and interesting interaction design and indeed showcases a lot of cool stuff that is worth checking out. then click down to this page:

http://hoverstat.es/posts

And I find myself kind of overwhelmed by all the dissonant motion. This sort of effect seems to be showing up more and more often in blogs and elsewhere. Individual instances of motion or gifs that are fine on their own but when aggregated together become kind of nauseating. I’m curious what the site’s creator intended with this posts page – the repetitive looping and flashes of color seem over the top to me but I’d love to hear why they set it up this way. Is Flashy the new Good? And of course for me the irony is that a site about UI/UX has a facet that I find to be pretty anti-user. Of course I’m a huge believer in the use of motion to add meaning to UI (see, for example, Google’s thoughts on Material design) but I see more and more gratuitous use of it and I wonder if it’s an accident, a fashion that will expire or a new baseline.

This becomes a huge issue with advertising too, especially as banner blindness takes hold, can we count on seeing more of this intrusive imagery? Right now the most egregious examples can be found on adult aggregator sites but I won’t be surprised to see a trickle down effect to more mainstream sites over time.

I see a a parallel with television commercials in some ways; for a long time commercial spots were least common denominator affairs that folks sat through because there wasn’t a choice. The DVR arose and a lot of advertisers panicked about their spots being skipped. There was a protectionist stance of disabling skipping (see DVD intros and ads for more on this) but there was also a group of creatives that set out to make better content that people might actually want to watch. The best of them treat the ad as its own form of content.

It seems to me that there is a remarkable opportunity to create new interactions that are more subtle and engage the user’s curiosity instead of stomping on their optic nerve. The challenge is set, what can we do to respond to it?