Smart Sites Engage Visitors Through Goal Oriented Interactive Design
Set The Pace Of Traffic
The move in web design from static pages that employ basic linear storytelling to simply convey a message is finally moving into application-driven design with built-in conversion goals promulgated by interactivity.
This smart-design concept uses native intelligence to adapt all site content to its point of access: from smart-watch sized screens to 60″ televisions with 4k resolution. When your site seamlessly integrates across all platforms, that is when you begin to see the positive results of a universal site experience across every device.
Creatives who endeavor to produce media-rich web experiences with quick load times, novel click drivers, active scrolling, and a “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” methodology, will be rewarded with happy customers who are astounded by the conversions with which you are able to intelligently generate passionate responses out of their leads.
The concept of a one page web site is just the starting point for an evolution in active surfing preferences that users are not always entirely aware they’re looking for. One thing is for sure though, 99% bounce rates, and 00:00 page times that some sites find in their metrics even after investing heavily to generate traffic are what the new paradigm is built for destroying.
To be sure, eyeballs rule the internet, but what precisely is it that they’re looking for? Customers may not know how to define the experiences that engage them in technical terms, but as usual the truth is evidenced by the cold hard data.
Web Applications Are The Future Of Goal Conversion
Users enjoy apps. They use them for everything from time management, to geolocation, cooking, travel, biometrics, and everything in between. They are big business too, driving millions of sales and downloads. Given the power and ubiquity of smart phones, in a very short period of time these useful tools have come to determine the way that consumers prefer to consume digital content.
Believe it or not, the average web user is a highly savvy information consumer who wants to be able to work in concert with an intelligent system to produce a result that solves a problem, entertains, or generates a socially relevant action.
What that means is that the business owner or web site operator who caters to this active surfer, and is able to not only secure their attention, but offer a useful, enjoyable, engaging, and shareable experience will be rewarded with personal information, and conversions for pre-determined goals that every facet of the site drives toward.
Design Like Zelda
This logic follows the app driven paradigm, but uses storytelling to propel the user through the sitemap. Now, imagine that instead of creating a beginning, middle, and end type of website, you design a non-linear, choose your own adventure form of navigative propulsion. Think of it as a sort of playground for the imagination, where users innately base their interaction with a website on a game layer understanding of the world. This is the essence of intelligent web design for the purpose of online marketing.
Just as an example, think of your prospective website as the more than billion dollar revenue producing “Legend of Zelda,” series for the original 16 bit Nintendo Entertainment System.
Your user is free to roam the entirety of the incredibly rich universe you create for them. As they progress through the experience, they begin unlock the aspects of its totality. Now, this is not a universe that has to be incredibly graphically intensive, just compelling, with simple, clean and easily understood design that is always reflexive and inviting. Along the way, they will find Easter eggs, discover golden nuggets, interact with other characters, and be treated to rewards for successfully navigating simple problems.
The Metrics of Risk and Reward
This doesn’t mean making all websites into video games, it just means actively engaging users on a Pavlovian level. This is not an imperative to challenge your user to the point of frustration and abandonment though. The logistics in practice should be relatively simple. Every bell and whistle should trigger a jolt of endorphin similar to what one feels from pushing a button on a modern-day slot machine.
To advance, the user must take a risk, and receive a reward. The risk will be pushing an inviting button, or completing a simple action.
This will entice them to continue to explore your site, entertain them with your story, and finally beckon them when you initiate your call to action.
Get The Message?
Now, no matter what order viewers peruse your site in, they’re going to get your message.
What’s your message? That’s a very important decision. You will want to think long and hard about this because ultimately it is what you will be basing every aspect of your design around.
For, design isn’t just a visually appealing element, it is a visually appealing element that serves a specific purpose in the utility of your product. It’s what makes a Ferrari look fast, and drive fast.
Fun + Easy = Positive Interaction
It’s what makes an Apple product’s box fun to open, and easy to open.
Product design is what determines user interaction, also known as UX. It’s what multinational corporations spend millions of dollars a year out of their budgets on. But it is an art and a science that is also available to even the smallest of small business owners.
With simple and thoughtful execution, it is a facet of the surfing experience that anybody with a website can employ to derive ultimate satisfaction from their guests, and secure that all important conversion goal from them.
So, now that we’re back to that, let’s think about some of what we’ve discussed so far.
Your Story Is A Circle, Not A Line
Now, you should not only understand the theory behind non-linear and interactive design, but you should come up with the methods by which to employ it. This is a process that is as fun to create as it is to enjoy.
Adapt your thought process to employ the most resonant forms of communication possible.
Give your audience credit for their intelligence. You don’t have to tell anybody what to think. All you should do is give them something interesting to think about.
You don’t need to put your ideas into anybody’s head, show them your idea, and allow them to react to it organically.
Nobody can ever be 100% right one hundred percent of the time. Connect with your audience by expecting that they will take and choose what they like about what you have to say.
If you are boring with your tactics you will get a disinterested return. This is your mortal enemy. You want a strong reaction. You want people to agree with some of what you say, and also disagree with some of what you say.
At the end of the day, they will respect you more if a majority of what you say is agreeable. This is the theory of polarity. It’s like ying and yang, feng and shui, low and high tide. In life there must be balance. At the end of the movie good must overtake evil, but it’s never exciting if there isn’t a fight.
You must encourage a strong reaction. You must develop the deepest level of engagement while never offending your audience to the point of leaving the movie. Drama creates tension. And tension is the essence of attention.
When you string a guitar, you are creating tension. Then when you pluck the guitar string, you are releasing the tension. This release of tension is what creates the beautiful music you’re looking for. And the sound of clicks converting to dollars is music to our ears. Let’s make music together.