The world of web development has evolved at an exciting yet scary pace. Just 10 years ago a donkey with a computer and a basic understanding of code could create a website that would serve its purpose fine. Today a donkey wouldn't even be able to find the computer. Ok, maybe that's a bad analogy, possibly a terrible one. What I am trying to say is a website is no longer a glorified word document, users today expect more.
Now the individuals that make up these web development agencies are some of the most talented people in the game. This increase in the number of incredibly talented people entering the industry has resulted in a never-ending competition to truly stand out. Hence, today, websites are more exciting than they have ever been before, this also means that they are more complicated than ever.
This increase in interactivity across not only websites but everything we use to consume digital content has resulted in us using more today than we have at any other point in recent history, and the amount we use technology is not going down anytime soon.
So how can you use interactive design to help get your fair share of your user's attention?
The Interactive Customer Journey
The development of interactivity for websites has unlocked numerous possibilities for designers to create completely unique customer journeys that help guide them towards conversions. Creating these interactive elements does not have to be complex, it can be as simple as adding small animations when users hover over certain content on your website, in fact sometimes less is more.
These subtle yet engaging interactions can be enough to take your website from feeling cold to making it feel warm and allowing you to create a connection with your customers. In fact, studies have confirmed this finding that websites with even simple interactivity have higher conversion rates than those that have none.
Another benefit of interactivity is that it can increase the number of time users spend on your website. This of course translates into several real-world benefits including higher conversions and improved SEO.
Now it might not seem worth the extra work and cost of creating interactivity on your website, however, in a competitive digital world, you need to ensure you are doing everything to make sure you are standing out. Engaging your users is the main focus of your website and here is how we believe interactivity will help:
- Drive engagement
- Increase conversions
- Increase average session length
- Improve SEO
- Decrease bounce rates
- Drive long term relationships
- Increase brand awareness
- Increase traffic
- Increase sales
Where to start?
Of course, a great way to start is by using simple page animations, including your social media accounts and making sure you have contact forms users can interact with. These are the basics that you should have on any website and allow for some interactivity. Here are a few other ways you can enhance your website by adding small animations:
Make icons interactive
Making icons interactive has never been easier, with tools like Lordicon you can get access to over 1700 interactive icons across around 50 categories with complete customisation. You can change the colour, size, animation speed and more, you can do all this and download it ready to integrate with your website straight from their website. Additionally, you can choose how the animation will be triggered, whether it will trigger on page load or trigger on hover.
Incorporate a map
If you have a physical location you are trying to promote such as a restaurant or storefront opt to incorporate an interactive map through Google maps where users can zoom in and explore your location or simply work out how to get there. This beats a static map or worse, a screenshot of a map.
If you have a brand that works with charities or is wondering what to name a new product consider asking users in a pole which charity or name they prefer. This can increase engagement and help users feel like they are a part of your brand and your story.
A great way to drive engagement and allow users to become a part of your brand is by incorporating your users into the content of your website, whether it be through guest posts, featured images of individuals interacting with your brand or product or simply leaving comments on blogs you have posted these are all ways to help promote engagement.
Chatbots or live chat
Whilst live chat is the preferred option and can often be a great way to get more out of your ads, smaller brands may choose to use chatbots. Either of these options is better than none, they allow you to engage and help your customers immediately and improve their experience with your brand.
Quizzes and interactive popups
If there is anything that kills us today it is intrusive popups that serve no real purpose. Popups like these are more likely to annoy users than result in meaningful conversions. Of course, the law of averages states that out of 100 customers some are sure to convert, however, there are tools available today that can take these popups from annoying to helpful. Our favourite tool for this is Octane AI which allows you to engage with customers in new ways and help improve their customer experience. Instead of having a popup that serves no real purpose you can have one that asks, hey what are you looking for today? You can then provide them with some common options, thank them for answering, ask if they would like a code and their product suggestion emails to them and then present them with their product. Here you achieve 3 things, you engage with your customers, gain their email and provide them with a personal suggestion that helps boost conversions. If you are interested in Octane AI and how it can help read our article here.
Some incredible interactive website
Whilst, these websites take interactivity to the next level, they can help inspire you with the extreme implementation of interactivity, there will be an experience that you can't help but remember:
- Apps Cider
- Francois Risoud Portfolio
- Ono Meals
- Ethics for Design
- Pierre Herme Nicolas Buffe
- Interactive Music Video
Now it is obvious that these implementations of interactivity are extreme and likely only right for specific brands.
Incorporating interactivity into your website has a range of benefits, what you can achieve with interactivity is now only constrained by your imagination. To remain competitive you need to incorporate some degree of interactivity into your website. If you are interested in creating an outstanding interactive design we would love to start talking as we are passionate about working on interactive websites.