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Interactive Websites in 2017: 4 Amazing Techniques You Need to Use!

By Eva Barnes , Sep 9 2016
Interactive Websites

Featured Image: iStock/bombuscreative

Web design is moving towards high interactivity. Many websites have revamped their designs in 2016 to reflect modern interactive trends. We look at some of the most immersive design techniques that you can use to create interactive websites that look stunning, have great usability, and offer a more interactive user experience.

What Is Interactive Web Design?

Interactive web design refers to the collection of features that allow website visitors to participate in the online information exchange. This can involve anything from requesting information through a search box to placing an order. Modern technologies have made it easier for websites to look amazing and perform at fast speeds. Creating interactive websites is easier than ever, it’s time to let go of that outdated static website and embrace interactivity.

Why Interactive Web Design Matters?

Websites are primarily a communication tool that also functions as the online presence of a business. As such, websites need to be more than just passive displays of information. Users feel more connected to a brand if the website is interactive.

Related: 14 Animation Ideas For Web Interactivity

A study conducted by the University of Oklahoma has highlighted the link between website interactivity and credibility. The researchers found that highly interactive websites are perceived as more credible. This makes interactivity an important element in web design, because credibility influences user opinions and attitudes. The bottom line is interactivity helps your business website look credible and trustworthy.

Immersive Interaction Techniques That Will Take The Web By Storm In 2017!

The future of web design in centered on rich interactions. As technologies, get more complex, user interaction design will become more challenging. To face this challenge head on design experts are incorporating video game design elements into websites. Designers need to know which trends are here to stay and which are mere fads. Current design trends focus on communicating design vision through motion.

The following trends have gained traction and aren’t going away any time soon. Get ahead of the curve by using these user interaction techniques in your web design.

1. Transitions And Animations

Transitions and animations are used to create an illusion of movement. They have become important components of web interaction design. Animations are popular because of their range of implementation. Websites can use a tiny effect such as a neat hover state to an animated cartoon that plays in the background. JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5 are used to produce these effects with ease. Users have come to expect animations from websites. Clever use of animation can enhance usability and user interaction of a website.

Animated effects can help you interact with users in lots of ways. The five most basic ones are listed below:

  • Notify users
  • Reveal necessary information at the right time
  • Draw attention to specific content
  • Create collapsible forms and menus
  • Achieve smooth scrolling effects

Animations and transitions must look seamless in order to give the illusion of motion. Choppy or slow animations won’t impress your users. Think carefully about the pros and cons of animated design before adding them to your website.

Here are some great examples of animation that looks subtle and has a clear purpose.

  1. A responsive website pull-down menu
  2. website pull-down menu
    Image Credit: Ramotion

  3. Landing page animation and transitions
  4. animation and transitions
    Image Credit: Ludmila Shevchenko for T U B I K

  5. Animated navigation and page transitions
  6. Animated navigation and page transitions
    Image Credit: Sam Thibault

  7. Animated graphs
  8. Animated graphs
    Image Credit: Virgil Pana

2. Layering Effects

Layering means the simultaneous use of several animation techniques. Simple effects are combined together and create the illusion of motion. This technique is quite tricky to perfect. Individual effects should harmonize properly in order to create a pleasing effect. User flow and information architecture should be kept in view when layering effects. The main thing is not to go overboard, and only use effects that enhance user experience. You can produce intriguing visuals by combining different animation techniques. Long scroll, parallax, background animations, etc. Layered effects captivate the visitor attention and encourage interaction.

  1. Layered animations
  2. Layered animations
    Image Credit: Virgil Pana

  3. Landing page multi-layered design
  4. multi-layered design
    Image Credit: Minh Pham

  5. Modular layer animation
  6. Modular layer animation
    Image Credit: Patryk Sobczak for tonik

  7. Full-page interactive layers
  8. Full-page interactive layers
    Image Credit: Anthony Lagoon for Underbelly

3. Micro Interactions

Micro interactions are the small individual tasks of an overall web experience. Dan Saffer coined the term and defines it as,

“Microinteractions are contained product moments that revolve around a single use case—they have one main task.”

Examples include logging in to your Facebook account, checking off an item on a to-do app, Liking or Tweeting. Micro interactions are used to perform the following core functions:

  1. Accomplishing common tasks such as logging in, posting a status update, set an alert, and more.
  2. Synching or connecting two separate points, such as synching game progress across devices or connecting wireless earphones to your device.
  3. Altering the state of the website, this can be anything from enabling/disabling a feature or changing a function.
  4. Real-time interaction with data. For example, a weather app will updates the data whenever the user opens the app.

You will notice this list covers almost every kind of user action on a typical website or app. This fact highlights the importance of creating smooth and effective micro interactions. Pay attention to these small details because they set you apart from the competition. Since your overall user experience is a chain of micro interactions, a small weakness in one area has a negative effect on usability. Here are some examples of user-friendly micro interaction design:

  1. System feedback micro interaction
  2. System feedback micro interaction
    Image Credit: Miramark Diaz

  3. Data input micro interaction
  4. Data input micro interaction
    Image Credit: Mamun Srizon

  5. Successful state change micro interaction
  6. Successful state change micro interaction
    Image Credit: Sikrant Shetty

4. Webgraphics And Interactive Narration

Webgraphics are interactive and animated versions of regular infographics. HTML5, CSS and jQuery can be used to convert static infographics to rich interactive story-telling tools. Interactive narration refers to the story-telling element in Webgraphics. The combination of animated elements and interactive narration creates a highly immersive environment.

Webgraphics are easy to integrate into your existing web experience. You can create a mini-site within the main website or a standalone website. The usual rules of including CTAs are also applicable to and users will smoothly transition into the webgraphic.

Building a standalone webgraphic is a commitment and not everyone has the resources to do this. However, you can incorporate the basic principles of interactive webgraphics into your regular website.

Check out these amazing examples of highly interactive and beautiful Webgraphics:

  1. Hungry Tech Giants
  2. Hungry Tech Giants
    Image Source

  3. JOHO’s Beans
  4. JOHO’s Beans
    Image Source

Interactivity will be the main trend to watch out for in the coming year. The popularity of virtual reality and augmented reality has upped the design game, websites need to shun old methods and move towards new design trends. We help you do just that by highlighting 14 Modern Animation Techniques for Great Interaction Design in Part 2 of this post.

About The Author

Eva is a marketing major with a keen interest in web design. She is also an explorer and loves to dig into web trends from mobile apps to visual communication and everything in between. Feel free to send her your web design queries or blog related feedback in the comments below.

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