Interactive Web Experiences: it’s time to get involved
16 September 2021
The days of information overload and context dumping are over. Nowadays people want to feel less like a bystander having messages shoved into their face every five minutes, and more like a participant, helping to move the world along. This is why businesses are starting to focus more on interactive web experiences in lieu of their former one dimensional sites, and yours should too. Let’s take a look at what interactive web experiences are, and why they’re so crucial to maintaining excitement and visibility in your brand.
Now just to make myself clear, I’m not focusing on unique user experiences. These are all about personalising a site/page to each individual visitor, taking into account their lifestyle and preferences to provide an experience for them that’s completely different to the next person’s experience on the same site. Whilst this is also a fantastic tactic to use to draw people in by making them feel as if you are personally focusing on them, I’m going to be focusing more on making your website exciting, engaging and interactive for every person that visits it. It’s no longer enough to just have solid information to give them (although this remains a crucial part of any business) but you have to provide them with an experience that they’re not likely to forget anytime soon.
Now the most important thing to remember when creating an interactive web experience is not to lose sight of your brand. It can be exciting to design engaging content, but nobody is going to fully enjoy it if it doesn’t relate to your company and its message. For example, if I googled ‘bathroom shop’ and a website came up with a mini snake game on the website, sure I’d have fun, but at the end of the day I’m there to buy bathroom stuff. I’d therefore deem that website irrelevant and visit another one that actually pertains to my search subject, causing the first website to lose out on my attention even if their products/services were better. So before I get into the really fun parts of creating unique web experiences, it’s good to keep this in the back of your mind all throughout the process.
The point of a unique web experience is to fully engage the user by making them actively interact with your site. This maintains focus, and makes them feel like they are playing a bigger part in their own decision making process than they would by just reading some information and contacting you. Now this is not to say you aren’t in control, you still decide where everything leads on your website, this simply engages more of the users’ brains and imagination. Now let’s take a look at some examples of simple interactive websites that you know and love. Social Media is one of the best (and biggest) examples of interactive web experiences. In fact, they are built on the foundation of users interacting with the site; if they didn’t, there would simply be no point in it at all. Sites like twitter and Instagram rely on users actively engaging with other users via likes, comments and shares. But whilst these sites are the most reliant on user interaction, that’s what we expect of them. It’s not new, it’s not particularly exciting, and it doesn’t make them stand out.
Being interactive pages work for social media platforms, but why is it so beneficial for other business models too, such as B2B businesses? Because at the end of the day, your users remain the most important thing to you. You want to provide the best experience possible for them, and an interactive experience not only heightens their visit to your page, but it also helps you with improvements. First, let’s look at why users enjoy interactive web pages so much. Being able to choose what to click, set preferences and interact with exciting visuals make them feel more attended to, as you have catered to them personally. The more interactive your page, the more likely they are to remember and revisit it, alongside sharing it with people that they know. Users not only place value in the subject relevant information you provide them, but in how enjoyable their overall visit to your site was.
The benefits of interactive web experiences to your business are quite possibly endless. Not only do they increase conversion rates (as a person’s trust and interest in the experience provided grows, they are more likely to convert to being a paying client), but they provide invaluable data that can be used to further improve the page. There are numerous pieces of software you can use to analyse users’ interactions with your page. Letting you know which areas are clicked on and investigated more and which are going ignored, you can use this data to constantly improve your page to provide the best user experience possible. Furthermore, search engines such as Google will recognise the high dwell time, low bounce rates and increased traffic that interactive web experiences bring, and will therefore rank your page as more valuable. So not only do you make existing users’ experience better, but you successfully increase your SEO as well.
So go forth and make your site, landing pages and campaigns embrace interactivity. It benefits both users and businesses alike, and it’s best to get started now before everyone catches on.