Interactive web design is the use of moving images, short videos, and/or games to keep the user moving through your website. Using interactive web design elements can increase your conversion rates, impress users, and increase your overall traffic. Basically, interactivity is one of the keys of success when it comes to user experience. Having an interactive website doesn’t mean you have to use all videos, or moving images…it just means you should have these elements throughout your website.
I thought less Flash was the current trend?
You thought right! Less flash, not no flash is the current trend. More importantly, fast sites are a huge factor in today’s web design. Keep in mind interactive design doesn’t always have to be flash. Actually, you could design the whole website without even using it!
Why use interactive web design?
Put simply, interactive web design makes your site better. How? Well, let’s think about it for a minute. If you land on a website that has a changing drop-down as you move your mouse over it, are you more likely to explore the rest of the website? More than likely you answered yes. An interactive website tends to perk curiosity as to what else the website can do. If it’s attractive and fun, they will explore your website to the fullest. More importantly, they will browse around more than they ever would on a basic website. When it comes to conversions, your user is more likely to choose you over your competitor if they know more about you. Sometimes an interactive web site can give this to them, even if they weren’t looking for it…they just wanted to see what happened when they clicked!
How to use Interactive web design
Take a quick look at your website. Now picture yourself as a first-time user. What are you more than likely here to find? 3 common responses are:
More information about you
List of various products/services and their prices
Whatever you think the user is there to find, make it the part of the website that stands out the most. Part of interactive design is deciding how profound that interaction should be. In some cases, a dark background with a subtle gray design trailing behind the mouse as if it was part of the background of the website makes for a nice appearance. In other cases, it absolutely ruins the website. Test around and see what works best for your site. If you think your users are there for a bit longer than the average website, placing a small game within the site that pushes more information out in a more fun way is a great idea. For example, a quick click and drag of the products’ prices to a comparison area could make for a nice interactive element for larger corporations selling expensive products.
The main points to keep in mind when designing an interactive website is to think of:
Average length of time a user will want to spend (or does spend, if you have that data) on your website at a time.
The demographic of your users.
The field of your company/organization.
Depending on the time restrictions, simple moving images may do the trick. All of these tend to coincide with one another because your user demographics will likely determine the length of time a user will spend on your site. Meanwhile the demographics are probably determined by what your website is actually for. Do some research on what others in your field may be doing, or take a look at some of the examples below for some inspiration. Instead of taking them straight from other’s sites, I recommend adding your own unique twist to them to make them yours.
Examples of interactive design
Here are some examples of popular sites that use interactive design elements to make their user’s experience the best.
The site is interesting and nice to look at. The game on the left side can give you something to do when you’re bored and will bring out the Harry Potter inside of you!
Begin your own journey through this interactive website. Life of Pi is a parallax scrolling website that will tell you the story of the movie the Life of Pi frame one frame at a time. They took a simple idea and made it remarkable.
Motorola’s (RIP) Moto Maker is a classic designing website for you to design your own Moto x smartphone. Choose from the colors, the features, and even try out accessories without even leaving your home.
Lamborghini is one of the most expensive brands of luxury sports cars on the market. Their new Huracán LP 610-4 is a beauty of a car, and their site is no different. In order to get some information, statistics, and to just change things on each part of the car, you have to hover and click the various wrenches and i symbols around the picture.
Author Bio: Ryan Gavin is an associate of Ignition72, a Maryland web design agency. He loves finding new websites with inspiring web designs and designers with creative minds.