We have made another seamless transition into a new year with all things interactive. This modern world we all live in—the 24x7 culture—makes each year speed by. Or it could just be that as I get older, the years pass more quickly. In my 15 years online, I have realized that we are still in the dinosaur age. In the last year, we have seen the web take a back seat to a new mobile world. Everyone wants to create experiences that are accessible over all devices, but that's still challenging and often expensive. Luckily, there's still amazing creativity on our desktops and nothing has convinced me yet that the desktop web experience is fading any time soon. The top-quality desktop experiences in this month's column prove my point.
The simplest ideas always have the most impact. Remember the Old Spice guy? Well, he's back and on a quest to give gifts to all seven billion people on earth. He does this by allowing you to blow stuff up. A hand over a detonator teases you into pressing it, and something blows up...and then it happens again. This is such a good way to let off some steam and a great way to blow away the cobwebs with this first column in 2012.
To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit www.thefwa.com/shortlist/devastating-explosions and click REEL.
Site by Jam3
I have always been a big fan of photography portfolio sites, and we have seen so many of them over the years. There's a new wave of fairly nice HMTL5 photography portfolios coming through, but this site for award-winning photographer Dean West shows us just how much Flash technology has to offer in delivering a highly impactful and unforgettable portfolio. With stunning transitions and full-size photography, this has to be one of the best photography portfolios I have seen in several years.
To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit www.thefwa.com/shortlist/dean-west and click REEL.
We've seen many webcam sites in the last year or two, but this site takes the idea a step further by enabling you to use your body to drive a car. The Peugeot 208 is a car that is supposed to reconnect with your body, and this ingenious site demonstrates exactly that. Your body movements cleverly open the doors, become the key, and drive the car around several real locations.
To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit www.thefwa.com/shortlist/let-your-body-drive and click REEL.
The "Got Milk?" campaigns over the years have been consistently impressive. This site is full of interaction and hidden treats. The animations and transitions used throughout are wonderfully creative and will help keep your attention as you progress through each section of the site. Make sure you watch the video reel to see the types of hidden interactions that are available.
To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit www.thefwa.com/site/got-milk--few and click REEL.
Site by SYMBIO DIGITAL
This online racing game enables you to play with actual Hot Wheels cars. You get to pick and customize your car, and then you have the chance to win actual cash prizes. The more time you spend playing this game, the more funds you can build up to create an even better car. This site boasts simple yet addictive gameplay, wonderful visuals, and high-quality production.
To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit www.thefwa.com/shortlist/garage-hotwheels and click REEL.
This is a great interactive movie where you become a detective in the streets of old Dublin as you endeavor to find a barrel of Irish whiskey that has gone missing from the distillery. This site highlights how movie production levels are taking the web to new heights. So, don your detective hat and solve this mystery.
To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit http://www.thefwa.com/site/jameson-1780 and click REEL.
Here we have another interactive journey, but this one has a personal side. As you travel through five slums where the organization MSF (aka Doctors Without Borders) is working, you'll hear the personal stories of slum residents. You'll also see how this site sheds light on the humanitarian crises in some parts of the world today. Hard-hitting and superbly created, this site is sure to be thought-provoking and educational.
To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit www.thefwa.com/shortlist/urban-survivors and click REEL.
As you can see from these experiences, the web is still moving in so many directions that we don't know where it will eventually take us. Thankfully, the lack of direction and purpose is exactly what makes the web such an important part of our lives. It has the ability to educate us, shock us, wow us, and make us laugh. For generations, books have strived to generate the emotions that the web is able to create. While books do set our imaginations on fire, they lack the same level of interaction that the web provides.
Rob Ford founded The FWA Network in May 2000. Since then, the network has received more than 150 million visits. The FWA Network showcases projects that use cutting-edge technology for desktop, mobile, and offline experiences, together with showcases for photography as well as video. Rob is also the author of three best-selling books on web and mobile. Check out The FWA Network.