8 mind-blowing experiential websites | Heart Internet Blog – Focusing on all aspects of the web

Websites are evolving. More and more frequently web designers are being asked to tear up the UX rule book and develop sites that delight, enchant and educate in new immersive, interactive ways.

These experiential websites offer encounters and journeys and make an impact on visitors that is novel and memorable.

In this blog, we’ve rounded up a selection of the best experiential sites around right now.

What is an experiential website?

Experiential websites are sites that are more than transactional. They don’t feature typical navigational features like menus and homepages. Instead, visitors have to explore the sites by scrolling, hovering, using the arrow keys on their keyboards and through the use of avatars.

Experiential sites feature more than the standard text, photography and video content found on conventional sites. Many feature animations and 3D effects, lots have their own soundtracks, some come with narrators and all of them are interactive and immersive.

  1. Artisans d’Idees

When you first enter this website the graphics make you feel like you’re flying over a landscape of mountains and pyramids at dawn. Then the scene changes to make it seem like you’re flying over an ocean filled with whales and topped with islands. Next, you’re flying through a pine forest filled with fireflies. You can move the mouse right and left to expand your view in every successive landscape. The whole site has been designed to showcase the incredible design skills and artistic visions of five collaborative creative digital agencies from France. Once visitors have had enough of flying through the digital scenery, they can click away to read more about the group and its work.

  1. The Sea We Breathe

This site has been created by The Blue Marine Foundation, an organisation that’s dedicated to restoring ocean health by combatting overfishing. Visitors to the site can go on three ‘journeys’ to learn about ocean life, protecting the underwater world and the rainforests of the sea. Inside each ‘journey’ visitors are met with a 3D scene that they can use their mouse scrolls to ‘swim’ through. As they swim, they uncover fact boxes. An Attenborough-like narrator also accompanies the visitor through the site.

  1. The Future In Mind

The Future of Mind site has been created as part of Discover Canada’s contribution to the real-world Expo Dubai international exhibition. Visitors to the site can enter a digital art installation that explores the human race’s relationships with nature. Once inside they can interact with the elements of the installation by clicking, dragging, hovering and scrolling. The site also features an animated story area that allows visitors to browse a selection of chapters to learn more about Canada, its people and its future.

  1. Xbox Museum

This site celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Xbox games console. Visitors to the site are given a cusomisable avatar that they control using the arrow keys on their keyboard. They can then use this avatar to explore six 3D environments that showcase the history and milestones of the different Xbox consoles and the game Halo. Xbox owners can also log in to explore a personalised museum that’s developed using their Xbox account data.

  1. Moooi Paper Play

Dutch furniture creators Moooi have developed this animated site in homage to its Plié Plissé Light product. Visitors to the site scroll through a range of animations that showcase the light and other statement products. Visitors can click on a product at any time to visit Moooi’s standard ecommerce store.

  1. My Little Storybook

This animated site tells the story of a bird family crossing the river. It features narration, a soundtrack and beautiful scroll effects – for example the long grass on the verge of the river ripples in the wind when you move your cursor across it. The site was created by creative studio Lusion to allow team members to experiment with design and development effects.

  1. De Bijenkorf Magical Forest

The high-end department store chain de Bijenkorf has created an enchanted forest website to showcase some of its statement products. Visitors to the animated site follow a bee through a woodland of trees and flowers to discover products like designer dresses, cuddly toys and shoes. A written story also unravels as the visitor traverses the site.

  1. Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia

This site was created by Gucci to help customers get a better idea of what the scent Flora smells like. Visitors to the site can explore an animated pink house and its nearby beach to learn about the perfume’s notes and its ingredients. As they explore, users will uncover everything from video content to an augmented reality experience.

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