illustration of computer mouse as header for article about interactive websites

There’s no getting around it: as of 2023, interactive content gets 52.6% more engagement than its static counterpart.

Interactive features have become a powerful tool in creating memorable and engaging user experiences. In this article, we will delve into the purpose of interactive websites, explore key features, and discuss how they can significantly enhance your website’s UX.

What is the purpose of an interactive website?

At its core, an interactive website aims to captivate and engage visitors through dynamic and responsive elements. Unlike static websites, interactive ones encourage user participation, transforming the browsing experience into a two-way street. It’s not just about presenting information but involving users in a meaningful way.

Understanding interactive features

What are interactive features?

Interactive features are the heartbeat of modern web design. They transcend the conventional boundaries set by the static elements in traditional websites. In essence, interactive features elevate your users’ online experience from a passive encounter to an engaging and participatory journey.

Benefits of interactive features in web design

Interactive features in web design offer a myriad of benefits that collectively enhance your website’s UX. Going beyond mere aesthetics, these features enable designers to craft interfaces that feel intuitive by tapping into user behaviour and preferences.

The key advantages include:

  • A substantial reduction in bounce rates: Interactive websites often provide a more dynamic and user-friendly experience. Features like smooth navigation, intuitive interfaces, and engaging animations can make visitors feel more comfortable and less likely to leave abruptly.
  • Extended session durations: These features lead users to immerse themselves in experiences that encourage exploring content more thoroughly and spending prolonged periods on the site. This creates opportunities for them to delve deeper into offerings, ultimately increasing the likelihood of conversion, with 70% of online shoppers acknowledging the influence of interactive websites on their purchase decisions.
  • Enhanced user engagement: As users actively interact with the site, they foster a stronger connection with the brand that goes beyond passive content consumption.
  • Better SEO: Search engines love websites offering engaging experiences, and interactive features also contribute to increased user time. These two factors can lead to higher search engine rankings, enhancing the discoverability and visibility of your website.

Now that you know what they are and their benefits, let’s take a closer look at some examples of interactive features.

Examples of Interactive Features

Both our website and those of our clients, regardless of sector, have benefitted from interactive features. Here are some tangible examples of such elements and how they enhanced their websites’ UX.

Scroll-triggered animations

I know you’ve likely come across this article through search, but have you seen our homepage? Yes, it’s visually stunning, but this isn’t why I’m drawing your attention to it. As you scroll, you’ll notice that Dusted not only brings brands to life, but websites too. Just look at this seamless animation:

Gif of Dusted website homepage, showcasing our scroll-triggered animation feature

Indeed, this element adds a layer of sophistication. As you scroll through the page, animated effects create a visually engaging journey. It not only captures attention but also guides users through the content in a memorable way.

Reactive effects

Whether it’s hover effects or animated transitions, these features bring a static website to life. They provide a visually engaging and immersive experience that captures users’ attention.

gif of IRCP website, showcasing the reactive slider module

Although subtle, these are features you won’t fail to notice upon landing on IRCP’s website. From the reactive animation to the buttons that turn white upon hover, they make the browsing experience much more dynamic and enjoyable

Video content and backgrounds

Whether used for product demonstrations, background ambiance, or immersive experiences, videos elevate the storytelling on your website. They add a dynamic element that captivates users.

Gif of Mecsia homepage, showcasing the video reel in the hero

Just look at Mecsia: by incorporating video content in their homepage hero, we conveyed their empathy-driven brand identity in a visually compelling format, making the website more impactful.

Dynamic sliders and carousels

If you want a way to showcase content in an interactive and visually appealing manner, look no further. Dynamic sliders and carousels do just that.

gif showcasing Prima's dynamic slider module

We incorporated a dynamic slider solution for our client Prima to efficiently display multiple pieces of information in a confined space. It not only maximises delivery but also contributes to a more engaging user interface.

Interactive forms

Like the classic static forms, interactive ones are also meant to gather user data or feedback. But unlike their traditional counterparts, these allow users to visualise, in real time, the impact on the product or service they’re investigating. Take, for instance, a cost calculator. By inputting information like initial savings amount, interest rates, and time periods, users can calculate and, most importantly, see potential savings or investment growth.

gif of Mahindra's cost savings calculator feature

For example, we built a savings calculator for the Mahindra Electric Automobile website. This provides users with personalised real-time results, making the financial planning process more accessible.

Clickable map

Another feature you should consider, especially if your company operates globally, is an interactive (or “clickable”) map. As its name suggests, it allows users to interact with different regions or locations on a map by clicking on specific areas. Each clickable area can be linked to additional information about your company, services or any other related content.

gif of HWF website showcasing the clickable map feature

We implemented this feature on HWF Partners’ website to enable users to seamlessly explore their diverse range of deals across different sectors and geographies. By interacting with it, visitors can intuitively navigate through a wealth of information, clicking on specific regions or locations to access concise details about each transaction. This not only enhances the user experience but also offers a comprehensive overview of HWF’s global footprint and expertise.

Sticky elements

You might not know what these are, but you’ve definitely seen them. After all, it’s impossible not to. In fact, if you’re reading this article on your desktop, you’re looking at one right now! A hint: it’s yellow and rectangular, with slightly rounded corners. I’m talking about the newsletter Subscribe box that has been following you the whole time you’ve scrolled through this post.

gif of Dusted article scroll-through, showcasing the Subscribe box sticky feature

This is just one example. Sticky elements, such as navigation bars or call-to-action buttons, remain visible as users travel down the page. This enhances website navigation via quick access to essential elements, improving overall convenience.

Dynamic search and filter options

By empowering users to tailor content based on their preferences, this feature enhances website usability. Content discovery can be grueling, so allowing users to quickly find relevant information streamlines navigation.

gif showcasing the filtering and dynamic search feature on the PIDG News and Insights page

Take, for example, PIDG’s News and Insights page. All it takes is two simple filter options to make the overall UX more intuitive and personalised. And we all know that, in 2024, personalisation is all the rage.

Collapsible menus and accordions

Another way to optimise screen space is by presenting information in a condensed form through collapsible menus and accordions. This way, users can expand or collapse sections based on their interest, simplifying navigation and reducing visual clutter.

We used this feature to streamline the UX on the service pages on Wealthtime’s website. Particularly on smaller screens, this creates a more organised and user-friendly interface.

While all these elements will give your website a fresh, refined look, it’s also essential to incorporate them with a thoughtful strategy. Let’s now explore the principles that ensure not just captivating visuals but also a cohesive and accessible experience.

Key principles for interactive websites

Even though they give your website a dash of charm, these features require a thoughtful approach that goes beyond visuals. Embracing the following key principles ensures that your interactive features not only captivate users but also provide a seamless and inclusive experience.

Here’s what you should consider:

  • Responsiveness across devices and browsers: You need to ensure that your website functions seamlessly on a range of devices, from desktop computers to smartphones and tablets. And it doesn’t end at devices! Compatibility across various web browsers is also crucial in reaching a broader audience.
  • Accessibility standards: As we’ve said before, accessibility creates an inclusive digital environment. You have to ensure perceivability, operability, and understandability for users, including those with assistive devices.
  • User-friendly navigation: Intuitive navigation is crucial for a positive UX. Interactive websites should guide users effortlessly through the content, preventing confusion or frustration. Use clear and concise navigation menus, interactive buttons, and logical pathways to enhance user satisfaction and encourage prolonged engagement.
  • Clarity in design and functionality: Ensure users understand how to interact without confusion, striking a balance between engaging design and straightforward functionality.
  • Security considerations: Prioritise the security of interactive features, particularly if they involve user input or data transmission.To do so, you’ll need to implement secure coding practices and encryption measures.

Armed with this knowledge, you are now in a better position to consider implementing dynamic features on your website.

In conclusion

Dynamic elements, designed to captivate and engage users through responsiveness and participation, redefine the user experience as a two-way interaction. Beyond aesthetic enhancements, interactive features offer substantial benefits, including a significant reduction in bounce rates, extended session durations, heightened user engagement, and improved SEO. When implemented strategically, websites can ensure not only captivating visuals but also a cohesive and accessible user experience.

Make your website interactive

Ready to elevate your website to new heights of user engagement and innovation?

At Dusted, we specialise in delivering solutions that seamlessly blend human connection with technical innovation. Reach out to us, and let’s explore what options meet your specific organisational needs.

Your journey to a high-end interactive experience awaits – so get in touch now to book a call! We can’t wait to hear from you.