On the Creative Services team at ion, we are handed many pieces of static content in varying stages of completion and asked to throw in our special spice and make it a truly interactive experience. I like to think of our team as excellent bakers—you give us the fruit, and we’ll make you an amazing pie. We have a few tricks up our sleeves that help us when going through content to take something as simple as 4 paragraphs of text and make it into a glorious, online experience. Here are 10 of our favorites:
1: Make a quiz about a statistic.
In the Fiserv example above, you can see a quiz question. Originally, this was a piece of static content, but in order to make it more interactive and ensure that our user was really interested in the topic at hand, the information was turned into a simple quiz. Not only does it make the experience feel more custom to each user, but it gives Fiserv data on how their users are interacting with the experience.
2: Let your users rate your content.
Chapter ratings are a great chance to gather info from your users about your experience, and they are also a wonderful interaction. Instead of an annoying pop-up, we like to utilize these at the end of a chapter or experience to be less intrusive for users. In Concur’s infographic, this technique is used to gauge how the user felt at the end of the experience about the content, giving important feedback to the content marketing team.
3: Try a modern way of segmenting.
In the example above for AthenaHealth, users get a helpful specific solution based on their answers to different questions instead of a broad, generalized answer. This type of segmentation is more useful to the user while still gaining valuable information about them at the same time.
4: Add a short quiz.
For Northstar Travel Media, a great quiz is added about the content in the eBrochure. At the end, visitors can enter to win a gift card. It is great end to the piece that allows the users to 'test' their knowledge before getting to a form—making them more likely to fill it out at the end of the quiz in exchange for an offer.
5: Pique interest with animations.
Excite your user’s curiosity by using visual cues to encourage continuing through an experience. With this Fiserv infographic, animations are used judiciously to entice a user to keep scrolling through the experience. Animations are a wonderful way to pull a user through a page and point their attention where it needs go—which is to keep going on your page!
6: Search for new ways to display your content.
In the UBM Geeks’ Guide to London, the actual locations within the guide are used visually, rather than a flat, grid-based layout. This serves a dual purpose—a table of contents and a great visual to display all the amazing places in London that are in the guide. We love content experiences that hit two birds with one stone! (By the way, we love birds, and don't actually want to hit them with stones)
7: Tease your user a little bit with reveals.
Showing less is always more sexy, right? By encouraging your users to act in their own personal journey, you will also gain valuable data about how they interact with your experience. In this example for DDI, a 'reveal' feature is used to show statistics relevant to the overall question of the section.
8: Try a tabbed approach!
Separating your content out into tabs has many benefits: it makes the content easy to scan, it allows your user to get to the content they want without distraction, and it allows you to get behavioral data on visitor interests. In the example above, computer operating systems are shown in three sections for a Purchasing Power buying guide that allows for a clean design and great data value.
9: Make beautiful, engaging charts.
Utilizing charts in an interactive way can be tricky, but useful. Charts often provide your user with the valuable information they are looking for, so try sneaking in some helpful tooltips into your charts like the Yesler Playbook.
10: Utilize a carousel.
Have a lot of wordy information? Don’t make your visitor overwhelmed with what seems like pages of content—try organizing it nicely into a carousel. You can tag each slide to see where users are going and allow for a more usable experience. Here with this Anthem example, their plan types are presented in an easy to use carousel.
We hope these tips can help out when building your own interactive experiences—and be sure to check out our Quick Start gallery where you will find many of these tidbits available for your use!