These days, interactive media takes many different forms. It covers the broad spectrum from the color a button changes to when you hover over it, to more sophisticated types that include video or animation. In one brief journey on the internet you can quickly be exposed to all the different types. The question is what works, and what doesn’t?
For me, interactive media is at its best when it helps the user navigate, complete a task or helps inform. I’m personally a fan of different layered types of interactive experiences that reduce the number of clicks a user needs to take or that prevents the user from having to go back and forth on certain web pages. I also like interactive media, such as images, that help illustrate a point or helps tell a story. Sometimes it’s hard to read large sections of text online, so it’s helpful to have images or other interactive features that break up text. This is especially useful when reading blog sites.
Interactive media is at its worst when it gets in our way; when it interrupts what we are trying to do, such as the ads that spring up on certain websites. News websites seem to be the worst.
However, it seems like the line between these two is getting more and more blurred. For example, there may be a video you want to watch to see an important news story, but first you must watch the ad that is presented at the beginning, that has little to do with the information you’re interested in. Like TV programming, websites also depend on advertising to pay for them. As a result, interactive media will likely continue to be used to be both helpful and interruptive to users.