4 of the best Immersive Digital Experiences
Over the last year or so, designers and developers have been recognising the potential of digital immersive experiences. Users are finally starting to get to grips with conceptual sites that take them out of their everyday situation and throw them into a completely different place, real or otherwise. We thought we'd take a look at websites that have paved the way for this new trend and explore their differing experiences and design.
Inside Abbey Road
A completely immersive experience, this website allows you to take a tour of Abbey Road.
You can navigate to any of its core studios, watch a time laps of the London Symphony Orchestra set up or even create your own mix down a of a track. A trend set to continue is the use of full screen video and Inside Abbey Road utilizes this to great success. Websites are now looking to integrate video content into a seamless experience. Users can expect to navigate through a website with video content without having to ‘press play’ once. This allows the user to take everything in rather than being confronted by another click. Parallax scrolling is also heavily featured, and one of its advantages is the fact users don’t actually have to click to access new content. Exploring the technical equipment such as microphones, triggers video purely controlled by the user. This is actually 3D rendered versions of the microphones which allows for great detail and a heightened level of motion within the scene.
Overall, the level of detail and information is impressive. However, by spreading it out across multiple rooms and areas, the user isn’t bombarded by content and is actively encouraged to explore. Google street view as always been a bit of a voyeuristic experience, and Inside Abbey Road allows us to peer into what is probably the world’s most famous recording studio.
Peugeot – Graphic Novel
Peugeot have created a graphic novel around their Hybrid4 car. As the site states: “Our hero is about to embark on a challenging mission, to capture confidential data and get away safely. To be successful, she will have to switch between 4 different travel modes, the exact same modes that you’ll find in Peugeot’s new Hybrid4 technology.”
The user simply has to scroll as different scenes slide in on a parallax timeline. The lovely thing about this site is how scenes look different depending on the speed at which you scroll. For instance the car chase scene can speed by or it go be an epic slow mo moment, whichever you prefer. The whole site is based on a simple downward scroll but delivers a really immersive user experience.
Return To Nature
This site is controlled by clicking to ‘grab’ the background and dragging left or right. The resulting experience is very smooth and relaxed, allowing users to take in the various different rainforest scenes they navigate through. This site’s genius lies in the use of 2D imagery placed on different layers to give the feeling of a 3D environment. Each different area relates to a Rainforest Foods product. By clicking on the product name the user is taken down a level to an area which gives more information about the product and it’s growth in that specific area of the rainforest.
This site is billed as a race to save a classic car from extinction – the 1939 Delahaye to be precise. The actual reason for the site is not immediately obvious. What is obvious is the amount of fun you can have on the site! Essentially it’s a racing game in your browser. Direction can be controlled via the arrow keys while C and V take you into alternate worlds. The main aim is to not become ‘extinct’. Essentially a very tenuous link back to the cars history itself. One thing you can’t deny is that due to the level of engagement the site offers, people are likely to visit the site multiple times giving the cause more time to be absorbed by the user.
These are just a few examples of how immersive experiences are seeping into our normal daily online activity. Essentially, if you create an engaging experience, your target users are likely to be spend more time on your site, giving you more time to communicate to them. Loyal users are what we’re all after surely?