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HTML 5 Canvas: The Big Change

Posted on in Marketing

Screen shot 2013-11-11 at 7.28.21 AMThe Canvas element in HTML5 is open up many new possibilities for web design. While it lacks a built-in scene graph, Canvas enables dynamic, scriptable rendering of two dimensional shapes and bitmaps. Essentially, it is a resolution-dependent bitmap canvas that can be used for rendering animations, graphs, games and images. Canvas updates bitmaps in a big way.

Think of the Canvas element in HTML5 as an artist’s canvas. It contains a drawable region that can be defined by HTML code. The region can be accessed by JavaScript code by way of a comprehensive set of drawing functions that are similar to other two dimensional APIs. This allows for the creation of dynamically generated graphics in Canvas.

The possibilities in for web design with Canvas are wide open. Web designers are still exploring Canvas and you can expect many advancements in web design to emerge as HTML5 grows. Currently, there is only a two dimensional Canvas, however, HTML5 notes that there will likely be a future version to define a three dimensional context.

Still, Canvas is a powerful element and represents the future of the web along with the rest of HTML5. Including HTML5 elements like Canvas in your website will position it for the future as more advancements come along. Ultimately, it can be used to make your website more interactive.

For example, you can control many of the elements on your pages through Canvas. Dull charts or graphs can be animated in real time to create a more interactive page element for users. Unlike Flash, Canvas is built into the HTML and is natively supported by web browsers. It is truly the future of animation on the Internet. Although limited in capability right now, HTML5 is advancing by leaps and bounds.

Just like bitmaps and Flash animations were abused by web designers in the past, Canvas does need to be used purposefully. Avoid using it in your logo, header and navigation. Instead, use Canvas to enhance the user experience on your website by creating interactive elements.

Learn from past mistakes in web design with animation. Animated graphics can be a powerful way to engage visitors to a website. However, it can also detract from the professionalism and usability of a website if not used correctly.

If your website is still relying on SVG or Flash, you may want to discuss the possibilities of Canvas with your web designer. Integrating Canvas into your website will bring you one step closer to being prepared for future advances with HTML5.

To see the amazing possibilities with the Canvas element in HTML5, check out this HTML5 Video Destruction on CraftyMind.

What page elements could Canvas enhance on your website?

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