Interactive is Back!


Sometimes it takes more than static text and imagery to communicate and deliver your message. Dynamic graphics, animation, video and interactivity can capture attention and keep users engaged with your content — now more than ever, thanks to the maturing of web standards that have opened the door to new possibilities.

The development of interactivity on the web has been hampered in recent years, following a dramatic upheaval among technology standards. Flash had enjoyed dominance as the default technology for implementing animations, games and interactive applications until the 2010 introduction of the iPad. Instead of offering support for Flash, Apple encouraged web designers and browser developers to utilize web standards — HTML5, CSS and JavaScript.

The problem was that a relatively large percentage of users relied on browsers that lacked support for the technologies replacing Flash. To make interactive features accessible to everyone, multiple versions generally had to be developed and maintained — an HTML version for users with newer browsers or on mobile devices, and a Flash version for users with older browsers. Faced with converting existing content and confronting development hurdles, many marketers simply removed existing interactive applications and put their ideas on hold until the new standards became more universal.

Today we’re finally getting there, as the transition to HTML5-based interactive technology has crossed a tipping point. Statistics show that the vast majority of web users have upgraded their web browsers to the latest generation.

A ton of HTML5, JavaScript and CSS3 frameworks, tools and technologies have been developed to enable innovative user experiences while reducing development complexity. Responsive design and graceful degradation/progressive enhancement techniques have been refined to allow accessibility on mobile devices and across web browser versions.

With renewed confidence, marketers can now reach their target audience and find opportunities to stand out in a widely templated and static environment. Following are some examples of campaigns that take advantage of interactive design to make their content more compelling and engaging.


Beoplay

B&O Play H6 Headphones: With its premium product presentation, this site doesn’t feel like a template, but actually there is a reusable framework behind the magic. (So it’s kind of a template. Shhh.)

 


John Deere

John Deere “How We Run”: This innovative product line showcase uses a dramatic “exploded” animation style to explore individual components and features. Design engineers and assembly personnel curate the tractors and mowers through multiple integrated video clips.

 


Google

Google Creative Sandbox: As the name implies, this is a playful showcase that pushes the limits of what a browser can do. The engaging pop-up-book format helps marketers discover new opportunities from Google. It’s built for Google’s Chrome browser, but looks good in other modern browsers, too.

 


Nike

Nike “Choose Your Flight”: This campaign offers users a chance to win a pair of sweet Air Jordans in exchange for a tweet. The visual style is incredible. A little bit cooler than this 1995 commercial. But not by much.

 


Range Rover

Range Rover Evoque: It may be a surprise, but a chic site like this doesn’t have to cost as much as a Land Rover itself. And it definitely doesn’t cost as much as a Victoria Beckham Special Edition.

 

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