In this digital age, the bar is constantly rising in expectations of user experience. It’s no surprise to any company that it’s crucial to make sure your website stands out from the competition, and this often requires taking steps beyond aesthetics of the design and clear calls to action. Sure, it’s still important to get the basics right (looks nice, load speed, etc.) but this doesn’t guarantee depth and engagement.
A great way to capture attention and stand out from the pack is by utilizing immersive website design, which takes users on an interactive journey that leaves them wanting more. Immersive design is a user experience term used to describe website design that focuses on providing an interactive experience to visitors. By creating a visually stimulating environment, designers can create a more engaging and enjoyable online experience. This often combines elements such as animation, graphics, videos, and sound with traditional web elements including text and links.
Let’s take a look at how you can create a truly immersive website experience for your users, ranging in complexity from simple to showstoppers.
1. Use Visual Cues To Guide The User Through Your Site
Visual cues like arrows, lines and icons can be used to direct users’ attention and guide them through your site in a subtle, non-invasive way. This type of visual hierarchy helps create an intuitive navigation system without overwhelming users with too much information or options at once. It’s sort of like a nudge to guide them towards key conversion points and avoid drop-off. A common way to incorporate these cues is through microanimations, the short, concise animation that conveys an idea or message quickly and effectively. These can range from simple fades and hover states to more complex transitions between different elements on a website. Additionally, using contrasting colors and bold font sizes can also helps draw attention to important elements or sections of your site.
2. Incorporate Interactive Elements
Interactive elements like sliders, pop-ups, animations and scrolling effects make your website more engaging and memorable for visitors. However, it’s important to remember that these features should not impede navigation or interfere with the user’s overall experience; they should enhance it! For example, incorporating subtle animation into page transitions can make the website feel more alive and organic.
3. Parallax Scrolling
Parallax scrolling has been around since the 1980s, originally pioneered 1980s, game designers working on Super Mario Bros. used parallax graphics to create a sensation of depth. But this faux-3d technique has recently become popular again due to its ability to leverage optical illusions to create an incredible user experience. Adding parallax scrolling effects can further draw visitors into the content on each page with less effort than traditional clicks. Parallax scrolling is a popular web design technique that involves the use of multiple layers of images and text that move at different speeds when the user scrolls down the page. Utilizing smooth transitions from one layer to the next creates an 3D effect as users scroll down the page, because the background image moves slower than the foreground elements—such as text and images— to create a sense of depth and perspective. This global cleanup landing page by All Together is a great example of well timed imagery and text to create the parallax scroll effect.
4. Immersive Scrolling
Whereas parallax scroll is often used for storytelling, immersive scrolling goes a step further to change the experience from observer to participant. Immersive scroll techniques are designed to feel like they’re inside a game or other application. This type of scrolling is characterized by long-form content, visuals, animation, and other elements that draw the user into the site’s story. It also allows users to move through the content at their own pace and in own order. Immersive scroll websites sites have been designed with extra attention to detail paid to the presentation of the content and strategic use of video, photos, and other rich media to create a seamless experience. This is often suited to a single narrative, as the page should be focused on one goal or topic, such as this 2℃ Earth page that uses rich media to communicate impacts of global warming in a compelling narrative. (Be sure to try the left/right slider for full immersion!)
Immersive website designs are becoming more and more popular as tactics to make make businesses to stand out from the competition. By utilizing visual cues, interactive elements and intentional scrolling effects within your website design strategy, you can create an engaging user experience that will keep visitors coming back for more—and convert. If you’re looking to level up your website user experience in small or significant ways, contact Bluetext to learn about our UX design & development services.