The first immersive website I looked at in my research was ‘360 Langstrasse Zurich’, which is a virtual tour of some streets in Zurich. As the user travels down the streets of the city, as if they were actually there, notes scroll up and down the screen indicating places such as restaurants and bars.
‘360 Langstrasse Zurich’ is immersive in the way it lets the user feel as if they are wandering and touring the city without having to be there themselves. The user can go to a range of places and explore Zurich, Switzerland.
The ‘360 Langstrasse Zurich’ is an easy concept and cleanly designed. I like the simplicity of this immersive website. It does not include video footage or animation, or cartoon, yet it is as effective as a website that has these means. Almost as if the viewer is travelling through a Google Maps plan, the audience controls the way in which they venture around the city, whilst also being given recommendations of places to eat, drink, and go if they were to ever visit Zurich.
The site also can be controlled with the menu on the right-hand side of the page, this can take the viewer to the different categories of places, like a tattoo studio or a restaurant beer garden. This site has taken the minimalism of a Google Street View idea and used it to guide the user around, like a virtual city tour.
The second site I looked at for my research was the National Film Board of Canada’s catalogue of immersive websites. Which included ‘A Journal of Insomnia’. This site is pretty straightforward. A lady’s voice introduces the viewer to the site, who can then pick a person’s story to follow. In this sense, it is much like the web documentary ‘Welcome to Pine Point’, as you get to know about each character individually.
The first page of the immersive site is a title page, which looks like a digital clock face in background and the text used. The main feature of this web documentary is the voice over sound that features on each story. The visual feature is flickering, in the story of 29-year-old insomniac, Sarah, double image goes back and forth throughout, maybe indicating her inability to get to sleep as the images that flick between each other are a portrait of her face, and a bedside table with a clock. When the story is loading up, the background sound is a faint ticking clock.
Again, this website, like the ‘360 Langstrasse Zurich’ is simple and effective. This is much more documentary like, however. As it tells of facts with real subjects with a real disease. My web documentary, about my time in Memphis, Tennessee, will be a middle ground between the two of these immersive sites, as mine will be like a tour of places that I visited in the city, whilst also being an account of stories that happened whilst I was there with the college, which is similar to that of ‘A Journal of Insomnia’. The main difference that my website will have compared to the two of these, will be that I will include music, video, text, and photography.