Add Fun to Your Website

Fun, Schmun! Whaddya Mean “Fun Website”?

Add Fun to Your Website

Fun, Schmun! Whaddya mean “Fun Website”?

The Value in a Fun Website

Why does your site have to be fun?

More fun = more interaction.

More interaction = more visitors stay longer on your website.

And the longer they stay on your site, the more your site rises to the top of Google rankings.

Bonus: The longer they stay, the more inclined visitors are to give you their business.

How Do We Know Fun Increases Website Traffic & Rankings?

Conveniently Volkswagen already did this study for us in the Fun Theory, highlighted by their Piano Staircase Initiative [YouTube]. The initiative in short: most folks take the escalator when exiting the subway to surface streets. It’s easier, right? But climbing the stairs is always an option.

Volkswagen wanted to find out if they could encourage folks to use the stairs. They replaced them with the notes on a piano. (Think Tom Hanks in β€œBig.”) Lo and behold, the use of the stairs increased 66% when folks learned they could “play” the stairs. Wow!

Thus, if you make the visit to your website a pleasant and fun experience, you are more likely to keep them there longer and attract more folks to visit.

Why Do Folks Visit
Websites to Begin With?

For the most part, they visit websites to find a solution to a problem. That doesn’t necessarily mean “fun” is on their minds. But a “fun” solution is one with less friction than a solution that is difficult to work through.

The solution they seek could be anything from making a purchase, to signing up for a program, to reading for enjoyment. The graphics and visuals provide an immediate sense of what to expect on a site:

  1. Does the site feel corporate-y (serious), or light and fun?
  2. Is is somewhat mysterious, using dark colors and deep shadows?
  3. Is it immediately inquisitive of you, the visitor, about your motives for visiting (up front/transparent)?

Each one of these features generates an emotional response. What if the emotional reaction is intimidation or confusion? Even worse, what if the reaction is frustration? Perhaps you can’t find what you’re looking for or the navigation is poor. These negatives all make the visitor less likely to continue on your site. And it’s definitely less fun now.

Yep, I’ll Take Some Fun!
Ugh, I’m So Frustrated!
Yep, I’ll Take Some Fun!
Ugh, I’m So Frustrated!

Mitigate frustration by incorporating it into something funny. The poor Lego guy looks quite frustrated. But just about anything with stormtroopers and Legos can be funny. You’ll get a smile combining them. 😊

Features That Add
Fun to Your Website

Design Elements

Features That Add
Fun to Your Website

Design Elements

Add a Playlist

Ordinarily I don’t suggest adding music to a website unless that’s what the site is all about. But we all know music is a huge emotional connector. So I put together a “fun” songs playlist. It’s very eclectic. See if it boosts your mood while you enjoy the rest of the post. πŸ™‚

Keep copy short and simple.

Tell Me More

Keep copy short and simple.

Make use of AnimationMovementAction on your site.

Tell Me More

Use

attractive

colors.

Not harsh.

Use white space judiciously.

But It’s Empty! Something Should Be There…

Use white space judiciously.

But It’s Empty! Something Should Be There…

White Space Provides Focus and Relief

Resist the urge to fill the “blank” space with other content. White space provides many valuable benefits to the site visitor:

  1. It provides rest for the eyes.
  2. It provides focus on the topic.
  3. The more white space, the more focus on the minimalist content.

Create an entertaining 404 Error page.

Huh? Whaddya mean?

Create an entertaining 404 Error page.

Huh? Whaddya mean?

Reduce Visitor Frustration

When visitors get a “404 Error” page as a result of searching for a page that’s been moved, renamed or deleted, they get frustrated. It’s as if a road block has been thrown up saying, “Detour! You must now go back to the beginning or all the way around to find what you want.” It pisses them off! But you have the option of creating the error page’s content with something that will humor the visitor. Here are three examples:

Features That Add
Fun to Your Website

Content Elements

Features That Add
Fun to Your Website

Content Elements

Create a Fun & Easy Quiz

Easy Is the Most Important Part!

Quizzes stimulate engagement. Visitors love to test their knowledge. Even better, they love it when they get the answers right! Validation can be very important.

Help guests narrow their interest in visiting the site through a series of questions:

  1. Are they interested in Product A? Or, in Service B?
  2. Is ABC more important to them? Or, XYZ?
  3. Is color most important, or size?
  4. Do they want standard or deluxe?
  5. Which feature is the key to their decision?

With each answer you have the opportunity to redirect them to the appropriate page or section of your site.

Add humor to your copy (if appropriate).

quiz graphic
Not Sure About a Quiz. What Else?
quiz graphic

Create a Fun & Easy Quiz

(Easy Is the Most Important Part!)

Quizzes stimulate engagement. Visitors love to test their knowledge. Even better, they love it when they get the answers right! Validation can be very important.

Help guests narrow their interest in visiting the site through a series of questions:

  1. Are they interested in Product A? Or, in Service B?
  2. Is ABC more important to them? Or, XYZ?
  3. Is color most important, or size?
  4. Do they want standard or deluxe?
  5. Which feature is the key to their decision?

With each answer you have the opportunity to redirect them to the appropriate page or section of your site.

Add humor to your copy (if appropriate).

Not Sure About a Quiz. What Else?
Ernestine Operator chatting

Employ a Chat Module

Ernestine is very chatty!

But I haven’t got time for a chat.

What on earth?!?! Have you lost your marbles?!

Chat, Schmat! Explain, please
Chat, Schmat! Explain, please

Engage with Live Chat

If your product or service would benefit from engaging site visitors while browsing on a page, consider employing “Ernestine” to build a connection with them.

Not to worry if you’re concerned you can’t literally employ someone to sit by the phone. Today’s chat modules have the ability to be turned off when no one is available to engage in the conversation (e.g. outside business hours). In fact, no one at all has to be there: You can program chat responses to reply automatically based upon keywords used or which question a visitor responds to.

For one client with substantial site traffic, every page generates a slightly different greeting from the chat module for the visitor. In fact, for each page there may be multiple greetings available that trigger based upon whether or not the visitor has been to that page before. You can even generate different messages based upon the visitor’s geographic location. Here are screenshots of two simple greetings below:

LiveChat Schedule Appt
LiveChat Special Offers

The “Schedule Appointment” greeting is only generated for site visitors within a geographic range. Visiting from Arizona? You’d see a different message. See the chat in action at

Olives Unlimited

Remember: No chat boxes display outside of their business hours. πŸ˜‰

Use chat modules when traffic volume warrants use of an additional tool to nudge visitors to take the next step. You or your staff can respond via mobile or desktop and use AI to generate full sentence responses with just a single keyword to save typing time.

Ernestine may provide colorful responses, but she can’t beat your content.

Create a Game

Seriously?

Yes. Have you seen how big the gaming market is?!

Haven’t you ever seen a teenager disappear for hours?

My Audience Isn’t Teenagers. What Gives?
tic-tac-toe
Hmmm. Got Anything Else?
tic-tac-toe

Create a Game

Seriously?

Yes. Have you seen how big the gaming market is?!

Haven’t you ever seen a teenager disappear for hours?

My Audience Isn’t Teenagers. What Gives?

Games Engage

We’re a competitive species…even with ourselves. We like winning. We love challenges.

In short, games are highly emotional activities. Just note the attention given to various national pasttimes.

Of course games aren’t for everyone or every website. Creating a digital game is likely an investment. But if it suits your personality, your business and fits in well with the culture of your business and the type of client you want to attract, go for it!

As always, keep it simple. This type of online game would likely deter participation:

chess

Hmmm. Got Anything Else?

Use Videos & Podcasts

Absolutely one of the best ways to secure visitor engagement, adding video is easy. Guests love that they don’t have to read. The video doesn’t even have to be your own video. (I didn’t have time to make mine own for this post.) Determine if you wish to entertain visitors, educate them about your product or service, or demonstrate your expertise.

Short is best for your video, but crazy Rube Goldberg machine videos, like this one, have a tendency to be longer ones that folks will watch to the end…

Go ahead, go full screen! And turn up the volume. It’s fun!

And…

Create Adventure!

Create Adventure!

Additional Fun Content Ideas

There are other content elements you could add to increase the fun on your site, such as online courses, discussion forums, newsletter & whitepaper sign-ups, how-to projects, recipes, and other activities. The trick is figuring out what is appropriate for your audience and your business.

Creating fun for fun’s sake doesn’t quite cut it. We’re not after silly (unless that IS your business). The goal remains to make your site fun and easy for visitors to engage with. Families love to take the rides at the Disney theme parks for a variety of reasons: they’re clever, visually stimulating, adventurous, emotionally satisfying. How can you reproduce that?

Capture that emotional state and you’ll close the deal!

References

Here are a few places to visit for inspiration:

Creative Types – Super fun interactive quiz with animated graphics. A production of Adobe and partners.

National Geographic – Weekly Online Quiz – I got nearly all the answers wrong, but they don’t make you feel bad about it. Very educational.

Quiz Landing Page Examples – Various formats and ideas, along with a checklist or two for preparing your quiz.

Latest Fun Web Designs – See more than two dozen examples of sites the writer found fun.

Website Design
About Marcia