Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Awe inspiring interactive websites

While we are on the topic of interactive interfaces, here are some amazing examples. Some of these come from a post on You The Designer titled 10 awe inspiring interactive websites. What is also interesting about this post is the comments. Some of the issues discussed are:

• These sites can be expensive to create and maintain. Budgets of 200K and up just to create a site is not unheard of, while the interactive web sites designed for big multi nationals like Coke or McDonalds cost a lot more again.
• They can be slow to load; the more gizmos you have, the longer it takes.
• Some of the links can be very obscure and hard to find, so people give up and move away. Yes clever web designers can win awards for tricky sites, but the rest of us would be hard pressed to find a link. Don't forget you are designing the site for your clients, not for yourself.

I guess the trick is getting the balance right, make sure the pages load quickly, that they take into account usability, and that they obviously don't blow the budget. After all, other than Ms Dewey's Ask a Librarian web site, we don't have the online marketing budget of Hollywood blockbuster.

Hollywood and the gaming market, along with multi nationals like McDonalds and CocaCola, are the drivers behind a lot of the innovations and technology behind interactive web sites. So it should come as no surprise that interactive film web sites are at the forefront of interactive design. For example, in 2008 the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix web site won the Web Marketing Association's Best of Show Award.

Libraries of course can't compete in against these player. However, the Portable Film Festival site shows is that it is not just about big bucks. You can do a lot by being smart and encouraging people to contribute content. So, if as a web 2.0 library your clients are contributing multimedia content, why not give them an attractive interactive web site to showcase their contributions? This can only build client loyalty.

But back to the WOW examples of interactive web sites. Just remember that when looking at these sites make sure you have your speakers turned on and that you are using a fast Internet connection. Enjoy!

2 advanced studio

The Mix Head

Red Interactive Agency

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Coca Cola Australia

Ms Dewey

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