Interactive web design is the process of designing and creating websites that are as interactive as possible, to make a more unique and user-friendly site. This typically involves various levels of programming and creating scripts and different features that allow user interactions with a website to be simple and straightforward. Different programs can be used in designing and developing these types of sites, and the exact nature of such sites depends a great deal on what the designer wishes to achieve. Interactive web design often takes advantage of different aspects of “usability” to create a user interface for a website that is intuitive and powerful.
One of the most important aspects of web design is the concept and implementation of the user interface (UI) for a website. The UI, typically taking the form of a graphical user interface (GUI), is the way in which users of a website will actually navigate and use the site. This involves various buttons, menus, directories, and different options that allow someone to view the different pages and information contained on a website. Different approaches can be taken to creating a UI for interactive web design, though the general goal is to create a UI that is simple to use and flexible.
Interactive web design should be interactive in a number of different ways, though not so interactive as to be distracting or convoluted. This means a user of a website should be able to navigate various pages and menus on a website easily. If a website becomes too interactive, however, usually due to too many menus or options for navigation that are redundant and involve multiple steps to reach a single destination, then the layout can become overwhelming and hinder a user. This type of web design typically strives for a delicate balance that gives users a great deal of power, without providing too many options that obfuscate the usable aspects of a site.
Different tools are often used in interactive web design, including many different types of programs and software. This includes not only programs for website layouts, but also programs that can be used to create interactive menus with buttons and various options for a website user. These menus can be animated, so that users can more easily see how their actions affect the website, and can include color changes and font changes to demonstrate how a user is interacting with a page. Websites often undergo a fair amount of testing to ensure that interactive web design has been implemented properly, which can involve everything from paper prototyping to beta testing to assess the usability of the UI.