Exploration of interactive and immersive web experiences

“Once the site loads, you’re immediately submerged in the subject matter.” – http://mashable.com/2013/04/25/immersive-experience/#kcP6_3RifuqF.

www.deadliestcatch360.com is probably my favourite immersive web experience. Instantly when you first go onto the site, it’s very visual and there is little amount of text. The first page lets you select a ship from the TV show to look at.

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Then after you have selected a ship, directions appear on the screen to let viewers know what each action symbol represents. This makes it easier to navigate around the website without having to use text.

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Then once you’re onto a page for one of the ships. Audio is played which makes you feel like you’re there on the ship. By clicking on the arrows at the bottom of the page, you can move the image around so that you can look all around the room as if you’re standing inside. As you can see, there are also social media links on the top of the page which allow the audience to interact.

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As well as looking at the different boats that are on the TV show, you can watch videos of the people on the boats speaking.

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www.bbc.co.uk/iwonder is a website that is less immersive due to all of the text they embed into their stories. However, it is still immersive in a sense due to all of it’s features. For example when you first go onto the site, the main story is always presented with a very large image that takes up most of the page and a title in big font.

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iWonder is fantastic because for each story, they break them up into either chapters or a timeline. This makes navigation on the site very simple and it breaks down the huge amount of information. Typically on their first chapter of stories, there is a lot of text to present any background information to the audience.

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For this story in particular, the second chapter of the story is dominantly a video with helps merge the audience into the subject.

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What I really like about this is the fact that it’s very informative a subtle way due to their large information graphics.

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I also thought that it was good that near the end of the story, it gave the audience the option to learn more about the subject if they wanted to. To do you, you just click on one of the images that focuses on a certain real life event.

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Another important element of iWonder is that they include constructive journalism which asks ‘what next?’ at the end. By doing so, it leads the audience onto other stories on the site.

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www.pottermore.com/ is also a good immersive website because of how everything is presented. When you first load onto the site, it brings up the latest news briefly in a very large simplistic font. The stories are all presented on a slide and you have the option to click onto the stories to read more about them.

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Then, when you actually go onto a page to view a story they usually have a very large image placed before the story.

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The website has a lot of stories on by J.K Rowling that are available for fans to read. Instead of just showing each story in a list, the website presents them in tiles that look like books which you can then select to read.

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The website also uses tiles to present other features. In the below image, you can see that there are tiles with images on for different aspects of Harry Potter’s world and when you click on them they take you to other pages that give you more information.

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The main feature on Pottermore that I really like is the map that lets you see where everything in the fictional world is. Again, by clicking on certain things it takes you to another page so you can learn more.

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www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/may/26/firestorm-bushfire-dunalley-holmes-family

One of the best examples of immersive web experiences is the Guardian’s Firestorm story. As soon as you go to the story on the site, it sets the right tone with an image the colour of fire and you can see people huddled together.

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As you can see on the right hand side of the screen, the story is broken down into chapters and for each one you can digest the content through a variety of media.

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With this story there are photographs, videos, sound, text and even a map.

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www.rgm.lv/?lang=en – lots of images, animations, text, virtual tours using google street view, narrators

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www.kingsmanmovie.com/

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