Hello creators! Design interaction is a crucial aspect of engaging with customers, and it's essential to use interactive elements to their fullest potential. While you may have used interactive elements in some ways, we can help you take it to the next level. Design interaction is essentially the process of breaking the fourth wall between companies and their customers and starting a conversation through interactive elements. While polls and quizzes are common interactive elements, there are new trends in design interaction that you may not be aware of. We can show you how to use these innovative techniques to engage your audience in new and exciting ways.
"Good interactive design encourages exploration and discovery, transforming users into active participants in the digital experience." - Irene Au
It comes as no surprise that with the power of the internet to make every aspect of our lives easier, we are slowly retreating into the digital realm. As we spend more time there, we also want it to be entertaining, satisfying, and surprising. We already have tons of articles that talk about the importance of brands being creative in the digital world and how the most significant chunk of marketing is happening there; you can take a look for more (Branding trends to watch or inspiring examples of innovative branding are great places to start). But to build on this topic, interactive elements are a space where creativity and innovation can be explored. As we said earlier, interacting with your customers is a way of conversing with them. So, what you say and how you say it needs to reflect your brand personality, and you want them to perceive your brand. The first step in using interactive elements is to select which ones are going to make sense for your brand and to know your audience – how they want to be spoken to and listened to. If you can do so successfully while keeping your audience surprised, you will not only have their attention but will have established an emotional connection.
Quizzes and polls come to mind when we talk about digital interaction. But I invite you to see it differently: Interactions happen every time a person scrolls, clicks, swipes, hovers, chats, drags… These are all interactions that people have on your social media or your website, even waiting for a page to load is a space where you could interact. And if we want to innovate, we must think, "How can I take advantage of every opportunity to interact?" We are here to guide you.
"Make it simple, but significant." -- Don Draper, fictional character on Mad Men
Over the past year, a trend has emerged in web design that is likely to continue - the innovative use of scrolling. Designers have realized that web pages don't have to conform to the physical movements we make. As a result, pages are now unfolding in unexpected ways, with elements appearing or disappearing as we scroll. Scrolling becomes a non-linear experience, with elements popping in diagonally, zooming, sidestepping, and more. The observer becomes the navigator, setting the pace and direction of the journey. This type of scrolling structure is reminiscent of childhood games like the cootie catcher, where we wanted to discover everything hidden. Using an unexpected scrolling structure is a brilliant way to capture your visitor's attention, as it creates a sense of curiosity and wonder. It's like following the movement of your hand, but in reverse.
Hover effects, while they could be applied in diverse ways, can be particularly impactful when used to reveal products. As the cursor hovers over an element, it could trigger expansions, label unveilings, blooming visuals, rotations, or feature demonstrations. Hover interactions are subtle and captivating but they are also super helpful to save time and keep your short-span attention client longer on your page. If by hovering, you can see more aspects of the product or get more information, then the visitor won’t need to open many windows- chances are they will get through more products quicker. Hover is nice because it surprises your customers as elements unexpectedly manifest on the web page; however, it's imperative to ensure that interactions are intuitive, especially for product discovery, guiding users towards the element you want them to hover over and making it clear that there is something over there to anticipate, otherwise, they might miss it and leave your page puzzled about the lack of information.
Interacting with customers through your website’s chat is just as important as any other form of communication. It's crucial that the tone of the conversation reflects your brand's personality. Nowadays, AI is being used more and more in customer service as it's efficient and cost-effective. However, robotic conversations don't always provide a satisfying customer experience. Customers prefer to chat with someone or something that feels more authentic. Giving your AI a personality is an innovative way to find a middle ground. You don't have to hire a team of people to be available 24/7, but at least make your chatbot enjoyable to interact with. Some brands have even transformed their AI into characters that reflect their brand's personality, resonating with their unique tone. This is an excellent way to encourage customers to engage more with your brand.
Where you innovate, how you innovate, and what you innovate are design problems." - Tim Brown, CEO and president of IDEO
When we up the game in advanced technologies, we also bring potential in branding interaction. Yup, I’m talking about VR, AR, MR and all that jazz. They can be used to create experiences for the customer in many ways. As we are swimming in so many products and companies in a saturated market while being aware that brands can lie, people are being careful before buying. We are just way too familiar with ads and selling strategies. So, naturally, the customer of today needs more: feedback, reviews, and good research to be sure what they buy matches expectations and brand identity. Experiencing the product beforehand, especially in the case of an expensive purchase, can seal the deal. This is where these technologies step in. We are still in the process of uncovering their vast potential; they are a wildcard for innovation but so far we are covering giving a virtual experience of a product. It is already a huge new step for branding. Any new tool has ample potential for experimentation and leading to breakthroughs while we discover new possibilities to use them. We have seen the beginning of brands taking advantage of these mediums, but there is still so much space for new ideas and innovation.
It is important to carefully apply all the techniques you have learned in design. However, if your designs are not visually appealing, you risk losing the attention of your audience. Although it may not have a direct effect on user interaction, the aesthetic factor plays a crucial role in determining whether people want to engage with your product or not. Apart from the natural inclination of humans towards beautiful things, aesthetics also serves a functional purpose. As mentioned earlier, your interactions should be intuitive and obvious, letting users know that something is going to happen and making it clear what you are trying to communicate. This applies to every detail, from the wording on a button to the decision to remove a button altogether. Aesthetics act as the wrapping package that binds everything together. If people find the wrapping unappealing or don't even realize it's wrapping and not the actual content, they are unlikely to open the present.
“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
That's just a sneak peek of how you can incorporate interactive elements and surpass the scope of polls and quizzes (although they certainly have their place). Engaging with your customers extends far beyond these conventional methods; there are so many hidden opportunities to surprise and converse with them; explore them all! Just remember that personalizing and adding interaction everywhere on your website is unnecessary. Having a clear vision of your objectives and aligning your efforts is essential. Quality over quantity. The more strategic and intentional your approach, the more effectively you'll command their attention and forge lasting connections.