Why Your Brand’s Website Needs a Third Dimension
When we look at something on the Internet, we often critique it like the way we do to a car. We base our interests by what we can see and by how well it works. Traditionally, websites have been published in two dimensions (2-D). While they may look all right, they’ve been flat and static—unconcerned with how well they work (the user experience).
When you introduce a third dimension to a site, you add depth and visual appeal, increasing the user’s experience. Viewing things in 3D has become more and more standard as our society moves towards a digital age. Let’s compare 2-D elements (the look) with 3-D elements (the feel) to see how they stack up.
2-D vs. 3-D
When many of us are asked the question, “How do you like this website?”, there are two factors that come to mind: imagery (how nice it looks) and how well the site works (the user experience).
The 2-D Features: Your Website’s Imagery
We first look at a site in a two-dimensional form and break down the design aspects. In other words, we can make these judgments based on a printed copy or a screenshot of the webpage. Users may or may not like the color scheme on the page, the colors may look nice because they compliment each other, or the text can be too hard to read against a background with a color of a similar hue. Another opinion can be made about the font. The legibility of the words may be based on how bold or how narrow the text is. How a page is laid out and other things we can physically see without interacting with the site are also things to consider as well.
Adding the Third Dimension: The User Experience
Once we have graded the design of the page, we start moving the cursor and begin clicking around, scrolling up and down, and hovering over different images and words. This third dimension of the site is based on how well it works. Many users like to see various effects and responses of a page that we don’t have the privilege of seeing on paper. We experience features like when you place your mouse over that “Buy Now” button and it turns from a crimson red to a shamrock green or the way the images at the top of the page are constantly sliding in and out showing you the most popular products on the site. The many “How To” videos that play when you click on them or that “back to top” button that creeps in after you scroll halfway down the page are all aspects of a third dimension that users get to experience and interact with. We have evolved from collecting flyers—which we can only visually enjoy to accessing a website where one can gain an experience as they are reading the same bit of information.
What is More Important?
Like a car, we enjoy looking at its cosmetic features as well how it feels on the road behind the driver seat. If you are wondering whether the look or the feel is more important, the answer is both. Just like the car, there will be mixed opinions on how it looks and how it works, but the important thing is to have both. This opens up a conversation placing website designers against website developers, but what we should all realize is that they go hand in hand. Many visitors will come for the design but stay for the experience.
About the Author
Simon Szeto is a Web Developer at OMNI Online Solutions. Working closely with this team, he ensures that every website uses the industry’s best practices in design, development, and security. He is always looking for new innovative ways to ensure clients have a positive experience with OMNI.