Transcend the tedium of 2D with immersive design

Juan Guzman

The term “website” is often a misnomer. Websites don’t actually feel like “sites” when they’re as flat and lifeless as print brochures. Consider the term “surfing the net.” What are we “surfing” — a painted flat wall masquerading as an ocean? That doesn’t jive with us.  

Here in the liquidfish think tank, we believe sites should be reimagined as rooms with depth and perspective, where the content can function like decor or furniture. As designers and developers, we must think like explorers. Every time we brainstorm a new concept, we reach a crossroads: Do we settle for the status quo or dream up a more stimulating experience? For us, the answer is obvious: we create spaces that feel alluring, infinite, and immersive. Here’s how taking this route can benefit your business, too.

So what is immersive design exactly?

Immersive design invites viewers to lose themselves in an experience. It relies on virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), or mixed reality (MR) to create an illusion that we’re physically interacting with a realistic digital atmosphere.

Here are just a few examples of immersive design experiences:

  • Art installations
  • 360° videos
  • Data visualizations
  • Home shopping
  • Traditional 2D videos presented in immersive spaces

How could it benefit my business?

Immersive design grabs and holds your audience’s attention.

These days, people (especially Millennials) have grown so accustomed to advertising that we’ve learned to tune much of it out. Enter immersive design. It is dynamic, disruptive, and interactive, so we’re more likely to engage with it. And since it also reduces the number of actions to take (like clicking out to a new location), it motivates us to actually take them.  

Immersive design isn’t just fun and games… but gamification gets results.

Immersive design often incorporates gamification elements to increase engagement. The term “gamification” describes “marketing tactics which use game elements to drive user engagement with your website, application, or brand.” Infusing your website with game elements is a fun and effective way to educate and interact with your audience. It also enables you to collect useful data from future customers, since these platforms typically require visitors to provide log-in info.

Immersive design invites visitors to become co-creators, not “users.”

The term “user” is impersonal at best, dehumanizing at worst. It’s almost like we forget that actual people will be interacting with our content when we conceptualize it. To fully engage them, we must anticipate their wants and needs — both rationally and emotionally. We don’t create sites for aliens or bots; we create web spaces for people like us. At the very core, we’re true believers of the power of human-to-human connection to incite emotional responses and pique curiosity.

Flat websites, on the other hand, are boring and uninspiring. They literally leave no room for co-creation, imagination, or exploration. Immersive design offers the chance to turn visitors into our special guests. It proposes a deeper experience in which the “user” is no longer using the site but enjoying it. In its full extension, it enables people to collaborate and leave their imprint as they navigate the site. It keeps people coming back to your site (and sharing it with their friends).

So are you in or out?

The ever-evolving digital sphere requires ingenuity and innovation to stay relevant. It’s time to invite your guests to not just scroll through your content, but to weave in and out of its layers. To feel in control of their experience, but most importantly, to feel. Immersive design is like a deep sea, and to date, we’ve only explored 5% of our oceans. Within both lie endless new dimensions to uncover. Although we can’t fully escape the confines of computers, televisions, and smartphones just yet, we can trick the eye with perspective and volume, fostering a sense of wonder. So if you’re ready to level up your own site, drop us a line. Let’s float around some inspiring ideas and reimagine your digital landscape together.