Five chosen websites:
The quote about immersive web experiences that has always stuck in my head is “once the site loads, you’re immediately submerged in the subject matter” (Mashable.com). This statement basically sums up what immersive sites do, which is that as soon as you enter the website you’re indulged and involved in what’s happening. Many organisations are now focusing on producing more interactive media for consumers and they are focusing on storytelling techniques.
www.deadliestcatch360.com is probably my favourite immersive web experience. Instantly when you first go onto the site, it is very visual and there is little amount of text. The first page lets you select a ship from the TV show to look at. 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. Then once you are onto a page for one of the ships you can see it clearly in a large image that you can move around, as if you’re there. Audio is also played which makes you feel like you are there on the ship because you can hear the sound of the sea. As well as looking at the different boats that are on the TV show, you can watch videos of the people who work on the boats speaking.
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. 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. For this story in particular, the second chapter of the story is dominantly a video with helps merge the audience into the subject.What I really like about this is the fact that it is very informative a subtle way due to their large information graphics. 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 so, you just click on one of the images that focuses on a certain real life event. 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, which is a way to keep the viewers interested.
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. The families story is broken down into chapters and for each one you can digest the content through a variety of media. With this story there are photographs, videos, sound, text and even a map. By having different types of media, it creates a story and it allows the audience to feel like they’re there watching what was happening. By drawing the audience into the story, it helps draw emotion.
www.rgm.lv/?lang=en is also quite a good website which tells the story of people who survived the holocaust. On this site there are lots of images, animations, text, virtual tours, narrations. The part I particularly like on the website is the ‘Walk Among Memories’ which uses the Google street view to show you the different areas. When you click on certain areas an image usually appears along with text and audio to tell the audience a story about the streets history.
www.kingsmanmovie.com/ is also one of my favourite websites because it’s really interactive. As soon as the website loads you are welcomed to the site with a clip from the Kingsman film. Then, when you go onto the actual site there is a feature called ‘ become a kingsman knight’. On here you are presented with audio of the character speaking and he tells you about what you have to do. After that a map appears and the user can chose which mission they want to go on. Then on the missions more clips from the film are shown and every now and then it pauses and you have to move your curser in the same motion as something/ someone that is about to move. In my opinion, this is a good way to get people involved in the film and the navigation is really simple. This website is probably good for children to use as well as an older audience because of its simplicity and interactions. I also like that way that they have kept a very strong and structured theme throughout the website. For example, the same fonts and colours have frequently been used and they have designed elements on the sight to make the audience look like they are looking through spy gear and futuristic technology.