It’s true that there is no all-right formula when it comes to ensure interactive websites- each of sites carry its own motives, strategies & artistic styles. But still there are some tried & tested ways that can help the website UI to be more interactive with visitors, in most of the cases.
Your visitors would generally demand more control yet each new control baffles the UI & messes the screen. The maxim here is to maintain the right balance by having input controls come on demand. Thus, smart websites like Pinterest come with hidden controls which are revealed only when users hover over affected content.
The UI should be designed in such a way which will enable the visitors to zero on most significant aspects of the site. The color, size & positioning of all elements must work together, ensuring clear understanding of the interface. A vivid visual hierarchy helps a lot in reducing complex appearances even when there are complex actions.visual hierarchy
Some practical routes to make your website more interactive.
Users always prefer consistency. They love predictability and feel comfortable to perform same actions whenever they visit your site- frequent changes are a no-no. You must maintain consistency with typical UI elements such as language, layout & design. Consistent UI assures better understand for users on the operational features of your site – that in turn ups the “efficiency” quotient of your website.
Users would hardly alter default settings & it implies that in is on the site owner/designer to set it right since the beginning. The trick is to puck those settings for actions that you wish to be followed by your users.
You have the example of Living Social here where default niche for the email deals signifies “everyone’- that encourages the visitors to forward interesting deals to friends and relatives.
Now it seems tempting to have whole control over the user settings but it’s also vital to extend slight freedom to the user as well. A completely convoluted process that keeps users on the default settings would simply frustrate them, pushing them away. Besides, never use defaults for things that need user thought – such as signing of newsletters.
Despite of a clear web design, your users would make mistakes and your UI must be tolerant to these errors. The best interfaces enable the visitors to undo their mistakes and enable them to continue from where they went wrong- make sure your user is not needed to start everything from scratch due to a simple mistake in mid-way.
Besides, your UI must also offer teachable messages on any wrong action by the user so that the visitor understands how to prevent such further errors. In simple words, your UI must be forgiving to guarantee happy & satisfied users.
Your UI must come up with guided actions in the form of suggestions which in turn inspires deeper interaction, involvement & feedback from users. But make sure that these guided actions are not cumbersome.
LinkedIn offers a great example in regards to guided actions. The moment a user opens a p[age there, the site guides him with suggestions for necessary actions like adding data regarding courses, organizations etc.
The same theory goes with guiding users for endorsements. Everybody enjoys helping friends & family with recommendations and endorsements. Hence, prompting a guided action towards endorsement would be a great idea to ensure a functional UI.
This is one of the principal elements that assure an efficient UI. Your UI must be able to guarantee fully functional & easy navigation portal. It’s mandatory for every site- even if you are hosting high profile unique quality products, your product list would stay unseen if you UI can’t assure convenient browsing.
One of the best examples here would be the website of Skullcandy’s Supreme Sound where you get vertical navigation accompanied by unconventional scrolling approach. Here you will find the screen rotating when you follow headphone string down the web page. It is possible because its navigation menu at right stays solid, anchoring & orienting visitors as they move through.