The Immersive Web

The Immersive Web is a metaphor for deeper user engagement and retention on the internet. Just as users are captivated by physical experiences ranging from Disneyworld to pilgrimmages to Jerusalem, users should be captivated by online experiences. Whether they are coming from mobile or desktop, users should be engaged, not sold to.

What are the key tenets of the immersive web?

User are engaged not sold to

The web is much more than a shopping cart to stuff users with. Its about a new channel of engagement. Social, mobile, search are all front doors to the user experiencing your content, be it knowledge or products. With either, you can measure user satisfaction by their time on site, their return rates and their sharing activity.

The medium is not the end — its a channel¬†

Users come to a website or an application through many channels for many reasons. But all of them are looking for something. Our job is to connect with them.  Social is one of those mediums. You cannot assume that setting up a facebook page and paying for likes is going to win you more customers and revenue. In fact, half-baked activity will hurt your brand, not help it.

Immersion does not mean it has to be in 3D – it has to captivate the user

I fell prey to the 3D visual drug. Looks do not make for a great user experience. Despite our best efforts to bring 3D experiences to Facebook in 2007-10, we underappreciated the cost of convenience over experience. 3D has many great applications. But they need to be measured against the “return” the consumer gets when experiencing it. Many entrepreneurs see too far into the future by not weighing the immediate cost/payback to the consumer. Not every digital circumstance warrants a 3D experience.

Immersion is found everywhere on the web — whether its group text chat or video sharing via vine — the best applications create immersive, social experiences and deliver a payback to the consumer.


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