Web Interactivity and Engagement

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Context Aware Websites

One topic covered in class thus far this semester when discussing the elements of a website (in chapter 2), the concept of environment. The idea of designing with a users physical surroundings in mind while they are accessing a website is intriguing. Thinking of the physical, mental and resource factors combined, a designer has a multitude of possibilities that could be designed towards.

Looking further into it, Matt Carver has explored these concepts as well. In his blog post Context-aware web design can take your business to the next level he describes many opportunities any business in any industry could have if their websites catered to their users environments. In one of his examples, he explains a shop’s site declaring they have hot tea on a cold night, or iced coffee on a warm morning. Utilizing concepts like this and expanding it to all kinds of situations and environments, there are millions of ways a users experience could be catered to their environments. From googling ‘nearby food’ on a mobile device and advertising in the results not only close restaurants and their hours, but also telling a user what the soup of the day is if it’s cold and rainy out or what happy hour specials are if its nearly that time of day, the opportunities are endless.

I think it will be interesting to see if web interactivity develops overall to incorporate more ideas and concepts along these modes of thinking. Catering to a users current experience or environment could prove to not only be beneficial to customers, but also to businesses. These kinds of details could change not only how websites are designed, but also how users come to expect them to be in addition to how users interact with sites in the future.