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Discussion on: You Make My Head Spin - Reducing the Motion on Web

malvoz profile image
Robert Linder • Edited

Hey Eevis, thanks for advocating for prefers-reduced-motion! May I ask about your personal experiences with animated pan/zoom in web maps? (Or would you happen to know of any studies in regards to how people with vestibular disorders are affected by such animations in web maps?)

I'm asking as a member of the W3C Maps for HTML Community Group, and I tend to focus on how we can make maps on the web more accessible (pertains to both JS libraries and (potentially) standardized web maps).

The group is reviewing and has implemented web maps using JS libraries and embeds in which you can try zooming/panning to experience the animations, however if you think that may trigger your symptoms then perhaps you can recollect previous experiences instead? I'd greatly appreciate your insight. Thanks!

eevajonnapanula profile image
Eevis (she/her) Author

Hey Robert, and thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, I am pretty new to this topic myself and don't know about any studies regarding animations in web maps and people with vestibular disorders. That would be an interesting topic to read more about!

For me personally, zooming of the maps can be problematic. I have good days when the symptoms don't get triggered from about anything. But on the worse days, for example, zooming a map with a fast animation can trigger nausea, as they're creating a sensation of going/falling forward. With panning, I think I've never had problems. As mentioned in the post Senja linked, if I have control over the zooming (instead of automatic animations), I can prepare myself for possible nausea.

sjarva profile image
Senja Jarva

Hey Robert! It's so wonderful that you're reaching out and want to find out about the experiences that people with vestibular disorders have. I too have some kind of vestibular disorder, but I don't have a diagnosis like Eevis does. I found out about condition only this year, when a web app I use often (Ravelry, a social media for knitters and makers) changed their UI and that triggered nausea for me. I've also come across some GIFs at news site and even here on that trigger my nausea.

I haven't heard of any studies, but I had this article bookmarked as an example how to design for reduced motion. The article lists several different motion triggers, and gives examples of them.

The first trigger they list, is scaling and zooming. Panning isn’t mentioned with this term, but one of the triggers is “multi-speed or multi-directional movement”, or parallax effects, which I understand to be similar to panning. Hope the examples in the article of these effects help!

And just as a fun side note, looked through all the videos on the article, and listed below which gave me nause and which didn’t:

What triggered nausea in me:

Scaling and zooming
example 1: mouse-triggered scaling
example 2: zoom and blur

Spinning and vortex effects:
example 4: multi-speed or multi-directional movement

Some nausea, but not so bad as the above mentioned

Dimensionality or plane shifting
5: plane-shifted scrolling

Did not give me nausea at all:

Spinning and vortex effects:
3 spininng parallax starfield

Peripheral motion
6: subtle, contant animation near text (just distracts me from reading text, but no nausea)