Macy’s, the sponsor of the world famous Thanksgiving Day Parade, has created a site dedicated to raising awareness, cataloging the history of, and building excitement for the parade. The site is a rich interactive experience that educates and entertains users of all ages. The mission, largely, is to bring the excitement of the parade into the 21st century, reach a new generation, and assert the parade as an American institution. To do this, the designer has created an immersive timeline and interactive mapping experience that is part learning and part gaming.
This home page automatically evokes the excitement and fun of the parade and the impending web experience. The bright blue sky and confetti is a well-crafted tonal introduction to the experience, and it’s a great example of how graphics can create a mood.
As users descend from the home page into the experience, they’re briefly stopped by this informational overlay. This overlay introduces the user to the impetus of the experience and how to control it. This demonstrates how intelligent designers are the ones who can get into a user’s head. Rather than allowing them to flounder around the experience without knowing how to control it, the designer has provided an instructional page that will help them manipulate and enjoy the experience. By taking pause to make sure that users understand what they’re getting into, the designer has ensured that they’ll get the most out of their time on the site.
Now the experience begins! Users descend into New York City and are able to move the crowded streets to experience a digital recreation of the parade. What’s more, they’re also able to pick specific years throughout history, and they can witness the parades from that time. This level of customization and immersion shows the relationship between UI and UX. The designer has given users complete control of time and space in the UI, which in turn creates a UX that is truly responsive and tactile.
This is the secondary level of the experience, where users can manipulate a timeline of the parade’s history. Here they can learn about the history and the future of the parade with animation, video, text, and audio. This multimedia piece is a truly complete experience that demonstrates the capacity of web design to engage all of a user’s senses. It’s this engagement of the senses that directly influences immersion and UX, and it should be the intention of all designers to reach users on every sensory level possible.
Macy's Social Parade is a colorful website design in the Entertainment industry.