Graphics interchange format, aka GIF – the newest weapon for web designers

11. 9. 2017.

GIFs. We’ve all seen them, yet none of us is completely sure of its pronunciation. GIFs were created in 1987, but only experienced a huge leap in their popularity in the past few years. You can find them on social media, entertainment sites, blogs etc. So, what’s the deal with them?

Graphics interchange format, aka GIF – the newest weapon for web designers

The growing role of GIFs in web design

The GIF is a graphic file format invented and developed by Steve Wilhite. A GIF is basically an image file format that is animated by combining several other images or frames into a single file. This file is encoded as graphics interchange format, hence the acronym GIF. The multiple images within a GIF file create a short, animated clip or movie. In its infancy, the only purpose a GIF served was to entertain the bored internet users, but websites like Tumblr or Giphy greatly increased the popularity, therefore the quality of GIFs, which now make a great alternative to old-fashioned videos, and are a valuable business tool. Moreover, GIF file format is supported by nearly all web browsers, so feel free to ask your web designer to spice your website up a notch by adding some GIFs to it.

Today, GIFs can be found in almost every web design. Businesses have been using GIFs as a medium to present them as a fun and likable company (even though sometimes they are a bit too gimmicky, which will almost definitely backfire). GIFs are also used among marketers to promote products or deliver commercial messages.Funny Cat GIF

How to use GIFs effectively?

The use of a highly effective animation - the 360-rotation demo which helps illustrate the product and generate interest - is also growing rapidly. Customers usually like to hold or touch a product before making a decision on whether they should buy it or not. Since technology isn’t there yet, why not bring the product closer to them by showing it from all sides? Animated GIFs can be used to make certain areas of the website stand out. Like we’ve said earlier, GIFs are basically moving images, which can get a user’s attention better than a static image. Using animation adds a sense of interactivity to the content and can have a bigger impact on users.

Whether you pronounce it as “jif” as in jelly, or “gif” with a hard ‘G’, you can’t deny that it became a huge part of the internet culture. Web designers and businesses are showering us with GIFs, and we can’t complain. We wanted something to catch the customers’ attention, something that isn’t as boring as dry texts, and we got it. GIFs are the answer to many questions about web design and online marketing, and they are here to stay.

Written by guest blogger Blanka Cindel.