Last Updated:
April 18, 2023

The Animation Trap: Why cramming in more content using animations backfires

Welcome to Glance Weekly, your go-to source for the latest insights and trends in SaaS landing pages.

Avoiding animating subtext: what we can learn from Miro and Synthesia

A successful marketing website must explain the product, establish social proof, and address users' concerns. That's a lot of content to pack into just one page, so it can be tempting to use animations to cycle through all the copy we want users to see in an uncluttered way.

Real-world data collected by Glance shows that such animations are not successful. Here's what we found:

Miro ran an A/B test on their homepage to determine which content underneath the Sign Up button produces the most signups. The site originally emphasized their high star rating across a large number of reviews. The test aimed to see whether an animation can use that valuable hero section space more effectively by cycling through multiple messages every few seconds.

One set of messages emphasized social proof, highlighting the product's popularity and position as an industry leader. The other set focused on alleviating concerns that potential customers might have about signing up by reassuring them about pricing, ease of setup, and not having team member limits.

👍 Variant 2 Pros:

👍 Variant 3 Pros:

👎 Variant 2 & 3 Cons:


The control won. The static content displaying social proof via star rating and reviews was more effective in driving signups than the two variants that focused on cycling through multiple messages.


Animating text is extremely difficult to get right, and is probably best to avoid. If the messages cycle too slowly, visitors will likely lose interest before seeing most of the content. If the animation is too fast, the website will feel uncomfortable as visitors are distracted by messages that change faster than they can read and digest. Different users will have different reading speeds, and the best way to accommodate everyone is to not be in this situation in the first place: use static content where everyone can process the information at their own pace.

If you were considering an animation to highlight different aspects of your product, rest assured. Real-world evidence shows that "less is more" — a clear and concise message presented in static text is often more effective than an animated equivalent with more content.

For example, Synthesia moved away from using animated subtext and replaced it with static copy instead. The additional points covered in the animation were still valuable, and they are still present further down on the page! But the animation's downsides outweighed the advantages, and simple clarity won in the end.

It's tempting to try to fit all our persuasive content in the hero section of the page.

Resist that temptation! (And if you're still hesitating, join Glance with a free account to access our collection of top companies' A/B tests so you can see what has and hasn't worked.)

Lead with your strongest points, and save the rest for later on the page.

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