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Performant Web Animations and Interactions: Achieving 60 FPS

Silky smooth interactions are critical for providing a natural-feeling application. The devil is in the details, and ill-performant web animations feel awkward, “janky”, and, above all, slow. Developers often invest quite a bit of time to reduce first page loads by even a few milliseconds, but forget to consider the impact of the interactions that follow.
Like many at Algolia, I’d consider myself user experience obsessed. Performance is a crucial part of our formula for a stellar user experience: just as a speedy search leads to happy users, so do performant web animations.
Measuring Success
You can use the frame rate of an animation to measure how responsive an application feels. 60 frames per second is the generally accepted target for achieving a “natural” feel. What this means for developers is there are roughly only 16.7ms (1000 milliseconds divided by 60) to achieve all the work that has to happen in each frame. Consequently,


 

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