Support » Accessibility » Gif animation interfere with a user’s ability to use the whole page

  • Resolved tradesouthwest


    GIF animation are distracting and disturb the UI of several orders of human interoperability. It’s always a better user experience to let viewers have control over any motion*. Marketers increase the danger of animation distracting when they use two or more animations close enough to each other that they’re likely to appear in the same viewing pane. states: “Do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures or physical reactions.” In general, GIFs are harmful for many classes of people, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Vestibular Disorders (head injures), depression, bipolar disorder, Anxiety disorders or another mood disorder; as well as most easily distracted individuals. Some of us can not load plugins from your plugin repository due to not being able to scroll through the pages. The cause of their issue is animations/movement on the page which glues them to the image.

    Thoughtless and frivolous uses of animated gifs can actually hurt the performance of your campaign. This happens most often when animation is added for animation’s sake, rather than used strategically to convey or support the message and to lead the recipient’s eyes to key content and calls-to-actions.

    Humans’ ability to perceive and process visual stimuli, known as a temporal beat, varies from person to person. Some people are naturally capable of perceiving very quick visual movement or changes. But as we age our temporal beat slows, making it more difficult to process quick visual stimuli.

    From, Nielsen Norman Group [the] World Leaders in Research-Based User Experience: “Animation in UX must be unobtrusive, brief, and subtle. Use it for feedback, state-change and navigation metaphors, and to enhance signifiers. …In UX, motion and animation can be helpful and communicative, if used with restraint. Motion is most often appropriate as a form of subtle feedback for microinteractions, rather than to induce delight or entertain users. …Evolutionarily, the fact that we can detect a movement outside the center of our field of vision is, of course, an advantage: we can discern danger and protect ourselves. But that means that we are sensitive and prone to be distracted by any type of motion (meaningful or not). That’s why motion in user interfaces can easily become annoying: it’s hard to stop attending to it, and, if irrelevant to the task at hand, it can substantially degrade the user experience.”

    Although “flashing” and “blinking” are sometimes used interchangeably, they are not the same. According to the W3C, blinking is a distraction problem, whereas flashing refers to content that occurs more than 3 times per second.

    Three negative words (Annoying, Distracting, and Dull) were selected much more often when participants viewed emails that contained animated GIFs. Three positive words (Appealing, Clear, Fun) were selected much more often when participants viewed the variation of the email that did not contain animation.

    Can we consider removing or limiting the play sequence of GIF animations from the WordPress repository, please. This would be highly respectful and more compliant to everyone using WP.


    The page I need help with: [log in to see the link]

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  • Moderator bcworkz


    Thanks for the background information, but we didn’t need to be convinced :). We are aware that animated graphics in plugin listings has become very widely abused. An appropriate solution is more complicated than it may appear.

    Thread Starter tradesouthwest


    @bcworkz OK, thanks for your advise and I will look at the trac…

    An appropriate solution is more complicated than it may appear.

    Must agree and glad others are in agreement with working on a solution. Maybe a suggestion is to ONLY allow (less than) x seconds of motion.

    Marking as resolved and will join in on the trac discussion.

    GIF’s also have many downsides. One of them is that more complex animations are harder to make and once created it’s even harder to modify.

    LiteBlue USPS


    One more disadvantage is that internet speed can affect how the GIF is played. If your internet connection is slow GIF’s may lag and take time to playback. No plug ins are required in order to view a GIF. this means that no unnecessary download is needed to look at a GIF file.
    PointClickCare CNA

    Thread Starter tradesouthwest


    @litebluetips Can you explain waht the significance of GIFs lagging might be in the case of user accessibility and overly distracting (distraction) of a plugin’s assets? Just trying to understand what the thread was saying.

    The point about the burden of rebuilding a Gif:


    more complex animations are harder to make and once created

    In general my guess is that this suggests that for developers to change the Gif it would take more effort. If that is the fact then so be it, yet the issue at hand is removing GIFs… so if one decided to slow-down or only animate the Gif for one iteration of animation (not repetitive movement) then yes, this would take an effort by the author of the GIF. So be it WP could grandfather in GIFs (maybe).

    Also there was a bit of confusion on what the last two sentences in the last thread were meant to cover. Viewing GIFs is inherit with the browser so it is not clear what was meant by “…no plugins need to view…”

    Same with, “…downloading {not} needed to look at…” When would this apply to a user interaction with the plugins’ repo? Or was there some other reason for the statement?

    Thanks. all tongue-in-cheek here. Not probing just wondering.

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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