May 07, 20153m read
How to Make an Interactive Website the Right Way
A simple transition to the digital realm is not enough. Once previously offline-only endeavors take this route (think communication, games, reading, et al), they don’t just stay static but are constantly developing and becoming more interactive, engaging, and refined. We’re living in an age in which we expect everything to be optimized to suit our busy and demanding lifestyles. Website design and content are no exception, which is why businesses are constantly building new platforms and enhancing previous initiatives to stay at the forefront of digital relevancy.
There are few things worse than searching online for your favorite restaurant, store, or what-have-you, only to find that the website design is completely out of sync, the content hasn’t been updated, or the grandest sin of them all: little or no web presence exists for the company to begin with.
Creating an interactive website will maintain that your business is on par with both the times and demands of your audience. It can drive your sales, increase engagement, and help build an active community around your brand, but how to make an interactive website the right way?
Building an interactive website doesn’t necessarily require you to be a codemaster or design savvy extraordinaire, but there are a few points to keep in mind when taking the plunge into the new realm of interactive website content:
Decide which interactive route(s) you’ll take, and plan accordingly.
Your website doesn’t have to include a grand introductory animation, a plug-in for Candy Crush, and feature film-length content. In fact, it shouldn’t, and would likely not only be distracting and unnecessary but also cause a number of technical issues. Focus on one, or a couple, avenues for interaction and from there create a budget to see what options you’ll have to present to your developers. Keep your online community’s needs and desires in mind so that your website design and marketing upgrades won’t be for naught.
Discover what technological capabilities you’ll need, and choose an appropriate coding platform.
At first, it may be best to familiarize yourself on basic HTML upgrades before decking out your website to the nines. Once a clear-cut vision for interactive design has been established, perhaps you’ll learn that your video content would run best on the more complex HTML5 or Flash and scripting could be better put to use with Java. One size doesn’t fit all, and there’s nothing like good old-fashioned A/B testing to put your efforts up for comparative review.
Don’t get too big for your britches, and keep costs at bay.
Unless your company has the budget for a complete digital overhaul, chances are your funds may be limited for these tech upgrades. If your wallet is a little thin, be sure that your upgrades enhance your existing content and don’t interfere with your previous efforts. While it’s good to focus on business development and inbound marketing tactics, don’t let your ambitions get ahead of you. Keep your goals realistic, on schedule, and on budget, and be sure that website navigation remains user-friendly. Feel free to use other businesses’ websites as inspiration, but don’t neglect the fact that your own unique product with personal touches will be met most happily by your visitors.
Keep your eye on your golden tickets for easy interactive sources.
Digitization is supposed to make our lives easier and our needs met more successfully. While these aims are not always fruitfully developed, a number of technologies exist–and are developing everyday–that’ll make your business’s website content more engaging and dynamic with little more than the touch of a button. Certain tools will take only five minutes and a line of code to turn your company page into a fully interactive website, perhaps with live-chatting capabilities or animated features. The goal is to find these little pockets of easy interaction, build them into your code, and let the design (and ensuing community engagement) do the rest of the talking for your website.
Building an interactive website can be a powerful route to take in expanding your business’s reach and amplifying the power of your content. Overall, your website serves as your authoritative online presence, and if you’re selling a product or service, it speaks in volumes to show that your team puts time, effort, and consideration in presenting your offerings in the best light with the latest technology. In summation, you will find the best path of interaction that will align closest with your brand and audience, continue to aspire while remaining realistic, and testing out your options until your website is ready to go live and awe your growing group of followers.