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What is Interactive Web Design?

Instructor: Temitayo Odugbesan

Temitayo has 11+ years Industrial Experience in Information Technology and has a master's degree in Computer Science.

In this lesson, we will look at what Interactive Web Design is all about, the benefits of using the Interactive web design and things to consider when designing one.

What is Interactive Web Design

An interactive web design is a design for websites which uses other inbuilt software, modules or features aimed at creating an environment for a website or web application user to be actively engaged during visit or use as the case may be, thereby improving his or her user experience (UX).

Kelvin is a young high school student. While he awaited his test results and subsequent admission to college, he thought he could get a job and make some money.

As a result, he would have to submit a curriculum vitae (CV) to a job site to be considered. This is not something he could easily do on his own without help so he searched on the Internet for a solution and came across an online job site - Lynt Job Portal.

Lynt Job Portal had the following options to select from:

  • Find Jobs
  • Find Resumes
  • Employers/Post Jobs

Kelvin selected the 'Find Jobs' and two search fields was displayed, namely 'What Type of Job (preferred company name, keywords is required)' and 'Where (preferred location)'. He entered the details and a number of job listings to select from, based on his preference, were displayed.

On clicking the 'apply' button for the preferred job, he was required to submit his CV either through uploading an already created one or filling out a new one. Since he didn't have one, he went on to fill out a new one.

Several fields were displayed for Kelvin to enter responses which would form the basis of his new CV. Kelvin entered the details and submitted the entries after reading through to confirm its correctness.

What Kelvin had just experienced on Lynt Job Portal is what an Interactive website is all about.

Benefits of Interactive Web Design

Benefits of an interactive web design include:

  • It allows visitors and users to customize their user experiences through the submission of personal choice data.
  • It enables the website owner to expand their reach more than they would have been able to without any form of interactivity with the visitors through the use of Social Media and blogs.
  • It guides users and visitors on the site to their desired location of information.
  • It saves time and money as it enables visitors or users access to information even when the company's live chat or emails are not manned at certain times of the day.
  • It enhances and compliments business functions of companies, schools and other institutions through user-friendly help content management.
  • User experience feedback are easily be captured.
  • Customer and client retention are highest on websites that use some forms of interactive web designs. Cases of unfinished transactions are also in the barest minimum.

Kelvin found the job site of beneficial value to him as he was able to draft a CV for himself following the same steps he went through on the job site.

Important Considerations When Building an Interactive Web Design

A website designer must take the following into consideration when creating an interactive web design:

Expected Users Profile

Having prior knowledge of your expected users' profile and their presumed preferences enables the web design's interactivity to accommodate them. For example, users that do not want to spend much time on your site should not be made to do so. Rather make it simpler for them to get the much-needed information as fast as possible. Such users abandon transactions or site visits when they don't achieve their aims in a shorter time.

Research

It is important for you to know your clients very well before building to help in your choice of contents, layouts, features and modules used to create an interactive look. Not doing this may result in designs without enough useful contents to serve visitors or users in response to their inputs or engagement efforts.

Creativity

Web designers ought to be creative and original in how their web contents and layouts turn out to suit their expected users. For example, a website meant to serve corporate contents should not aim at being colorful by flooding it with images from Disneyland, rather using appropriately designed images with a corporate touch would suffice.

Reduced Time Burden

Reducing the time taken by visitors and users to achieve their purpose on the site is preferable than spending more time. For example, when filling out an online job application, completion rates drop by almost 50% when an application asks 50 or more questions versus 25 or less. Also, more than 40% of users will abandon a web page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

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