In previous articles, we’ve discussed web development tools and languages that can help you create an effective development website. In this article, we’ll talk about six more popular features of a dynamic web site design and why each one is a good choice for an increasing local economy. We’ll also examine some of the challenges that face cities seeking to capitalize on the web – both in terms of government support and attracting business to the city. By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll know which features you should consider when designing a dynamic site. Let’s get started!
Navigation is crucial in any site, especially economic development websites. No matter how great your website is, if you don’t give your users a way to find what they want, they won’t visit your site. One of the best features to look for in the latest and greatest web development technology, such as Flash, is “parallel browsing”. With parallel browsing, site visitors can browse through your website without ever having to click on a single link.
Another great web development feature that’s now available in the newest economic development websites is “immersive mapping”. With this new technology, your site visitors are able to zoom through a city like a camera so that they can get a better idea of the streets and landmarks. This creates an environment that’s as engaging as a museum; a much more appropriate environment than something that’s static like a business relocation guide. And just like a museum, interactive maps allow visitors to explore different parts of a city.
You’ll find that most economic development websites now include some form of interactive maps. Whether it’s a simple, two-dimensional map that shows business locations over multiple zones (like the map above, which presents Culpeper County, Virginia, in a two-dimensional format) or a 3-D, 360-degree interactive map that allows site visitors to virtually stand inside of the city and examine the different areas and points of interest (which can include restaurants, movie theatres, hospitals, ATMs, etc. ), interactive maps have become a vital feature of many successful sites.
An additional great feature that many economic development websites use is “ambient video”. The words are simple: rather than using a boring, still photograph of a location, site visitors can now view a live, moving video shot from the point of view of that location. For example, if you’re relocating to Culpeper County, Virginia, you could watch a video shot from the front door of a historic house as it plays behind you as you walk from your car into your new home. It’s an incredibly fun and engaging experience, and a great way to keep current site visitors engaged and entertained while they explore the site. The Culpeper County library in particular, which is located in the town of Blenheim, has a wonderful narrator who comes on video to explain the history and features of each day’s activities.
And finally, you might not have considered, but audio is also a popular feature of many successful development websites. Rather than merely displaying text, developers have found audio to be extremely powerful and useful for conveying lots of important information. Think of a blog post about your company’s newest product or service, for example, and what better way to get your readers involved than by capturing their attention with some live audio of a local Culpeper County Newsroom anchor? Audio is an effective medium for relaying technical information and talking about the latest trends in businesses, technology, and places to visit. No matter what type of development website you’re attempting to create, the above features are sure to make a big impression!