Friday, August 7, 2009

Creating Websites with Atmosphere

Those who follow our work know that our sites are just a little more "rich" than the average webpage. We love combining sound, texture and movement to create an "atmosphere". We understand if we make people fall in love with your presence that they'll be more drawn to you than the competition and more likely to return. For aspiring designers and clients alike - we can teach you the rules about what is effective when attemping to design an "environment" where people not only learn about a business or organization - but FEEL it's essence. Our sites have been known to create "emotional" connections. Here are some of our more memorable challenges and the techniques we used for overcoming them:

Challenge # 1 : Make Creepy Crawlies Look Good!

One way to effectively create an atmosphere is to add realistic movement. This bug museum wanted both children and adults alike to become completely infatuated with the idea of visiting a bug zoo - and what better way than to actually put "live bugs" all over their site. You'll notice lady bugs flying through the navbar, ants crawling around the bottom of the page and butterflies swarming through the main intro. This is a fairly simple method using stock photo clippings along with randomized movement controlled by action scripts in flash. It is one way to make the experience of visiting a website feel more "tangible". Click to visit this site.

Challenge # 2 : Establish Trust Without Establishing Boredom

Although we've become famous for our highly textured interfaces - there are times where "grunging it up" is simply not appropriate. Creating appropriate graphics is crucial in conveying the right message. MBK is a human resources firm that wanted to look sophisticated and professional without looking boring. To do so we incorporated really sleak imagery into a clean "shiny" interface and along with some looped cloud video we added some high-pace music. Music is a really effective way of setting an atmosphere. Be careful though. People should easily be able to turn it off - as many people prefer silence and would be driven away quickly by sound they can't control. Notice the whites and blues too. Color is also a great way to change the atmosphere (and blue is an age old standard for corporate establishments) Click to visit this site.

Challenge # 3 : Make Dirty Garage Look Dapper

People love using all five senses. We know they can see and hear a screen. But how about touching it, tasting it and smelling it? Well... technology isn't QUITE there yet (although it's probably not far off). In the meanwhile though an excellent method for making a site seem "Real" is to incorporate texture that is so enticing that people's imaginations almost virtually CAN feel, taste and smell it. With a little help from affordably priced stock photography - you can incorporate tons of layering into sites. Rod and Racecraft is an example of site where we did just that. Click here to visit this site

Challenge # 4 : Entice People to Experience Grand Canyon "Properly"

Sometimes music isn't the way to go on sites. Sometimes soundscapes are far more effective. This Grand Canyon Tour company wanted to convey a more relaxing, isolated and wilderness experience for those visiting the area and what better way to do it than to add the actual soundtrack from the rim of Grand Canyon. Birds, animals and a gentle breeze. Click to see this site

Challenge # 5 : Make People's Hearts Set Sail

This site is an "old" creation of ours but we couldn't leave it out when it came to talking about "atmospheric" sites. We used a lot of movement and light and came up with a really neat interface that sells people on a "romantic boat experience in NYC". Click here to visit the site

CONCLUSION? People may have no intention of using your services when they run across your website. However, having had a memorable experience on your site their head might be a barrage of ideas that eventually they won't ignore. The result? Even if they don't act on contacting you now - when they are financially ready you'll be in the back of their heads. Why? Because you made them FEEL something that they won't forget. You weren't just another site among sites. Want a site like the above? Contact Us! We'd love to chat. :)