The importance of interactivity in website design

Once you have identified the aims of your website, it is important to consider how people will interact with your site.

Where possible, visitors should be able to undertake a transaction with your website and receive immediate benefit. For example, Syneka has been developing a website for a consultant, who has written several books. While her paper-based books have been readily available on the site, it is her new range of e-books that have proved immensely popular.

Since e-books can be purchased and acquired instantly on-line, it ensures that a visitor is able to receive immediate benefit from their transaction. The e-books also ensure that that the author is able to provide new content relatively quickly providing an opportunity to quickly meet new demands.

Sometimes it is not always possible to complete a transaction entirely online, such as services which require off-line interaction. In this case, it is important to secure a commitment from the visitor so that they do take the next steps and complete the transaction.

An example of this is a migration agent who needs to undertake a detailed assessment of their clients. While this detailed assessment will require further interaction with the client, pre-qualification can be undertaken online.

Syneka developed a website for a migration agency and included an interactive interview to help qualify prospective clients and provide an initial understanding of their needs. The interview helps create a commitment from the visitor to undertake a full assessment, while also providing the migration agency with initial details to understand the needs of this prospective client.

The interview process has been extremely well received by prospective clients and automatically sends an email to both the migration agency and the client, stating that further contact will be undertaken to complete the assessment. This interactivity creates a commitment for the client and thus encourages them to complete the transaction and secure services through your organisation.

While the Internet provides the ability to reach new markets, it also enables prospective visitors to quickly find your competitors. Interactivity and creating commitment provides a method of securing new prospective customers, while minimizing the tendency of seeking competitors.

This equally applies to the not-for-profit sector, where an organisation is often competing for someone’s time. In this case, Syneka created a website for a community house, which includes an interactive online enrollment form providing the ability to register interest in a class. This creates a commitment and means that the community house is able to secure the registration and attendance of a visitor that completes the enrollment process.

This interactivity means that a visitor is able to transact with the site and achieves the organisation’s aim of using their website to secure enrollments. While an online version of their brochure would advertise the classes they have available, it doesn’t necessary create a commitment for someone to enroll into a course. The online enrollment form achieves this aim and provides quantifiable metrics in measuring the success of their site.

Likewise, the migration agency and the author are able to quantify the success of their respective websites through the transactions that are undertaken, ensuring that they can measure results and determine the effectiveness of their on-line marketing strategies.

Alex Makin

Author Alex Makin

In a career spanning over fifteen years, Alex has been instrumental in transforming, reinvigorating and growing the capacity of businesses and not-for-profit organisations. He is a visionary who understands the big picture. Alex's expertise is a Certified Practising Marketer and as Chair of the Victorian State Council of the Australian Marketing Institute. Alex is also an accomplished speaker, author and mentor and former Mayor and Councillor for the City of Maroondah.

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Better Business Bureau says:

    I am really enjoying the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems? A number of my blog readers have complained about my site not working correctly in Explorer. Do you have any ideas to help fix this problem?

    • Alex Makin says:

      Hi Carolyn,

      Thanks for the feedback, we test our websites across all major web browsers and devices to ensure compatibility. Unfortunately earlier versions of Internet Explorer do not meet modern web standards and this can cause difficulties. A website needs to viewable on a visitor’s system and it is therefore important to maintain compatibly with older web browsers.

      We’re happy to discuss further the specific issues your website has with Internet Explorer.



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