In classrooms, lecture halls, and corporate offices animations are the new medium of visual communication. And why not? They are an attractive and engaging way to communicate and if a picture is worth a thousand words, an animated picture, well... that must be worth... a lot of words.
Businesses, ad agencies, and educational institutions use animation as a tool for presenting information, helping to make difficult ideas more accessible, reinforcing key messages, and teaching new processes and skills.
The reason animation has been identified as such a powerful tool is that it uses colour and movement to convey information that would otherwise have been simple text on a screen and our brains are hard wired to focus in on information that contrasts with its surroundings. Compare this to text based information or even visually impressive but static print ads. The same messages are there but our eyes are not drawn to it in the same way and we are less likely to take those messages in. Animation has been shown to literally make us smarter.
There is not only an art to animation but a science and like all sciences there is a lot of research around the best way of utilising it. Researchers have been looking at animation for awhile as a teaching tool and have identified a number of 'principles' to using the medium. These include explicitly drawing the viewers eyes to the key messages - you can do this using the tricks of colour and movement. And keeping it simple, which researchers call the 'redundancy principle' but we know better as 'less is more'. Lots of colour and movement may look great but it becomes a bit like noise to the brain. You need to be selective in the aspect of the animation you choose to 'bring to life', otherwise it could be missed in the visual splendour.
We at Inklish love animation but for us the message is the key point; animation is just the really cool tool we get to use to convey that message.