Over the years, web design has taken on many flavors. At its inception, websites contained pure content in very dry templates. But, as technology progressed, the design interface became more important than the content (pictures, standard color schemes, etc.). From this point, websites diverged into sites with “movement” as demonstrated in the Flash revolution. The Flash revolution created a new consumer need–highly interactive websites. While the design of sites are slowly returning to concepts such as usability, readability, and a one-size-fits-all approach, websites must still involve some level of visitor interaction. This concept fueled the growth of Social Networking (MySpace, Facebook, etc.) and blogging sites (WordPress, ThinkPad, and Blogger) that permits the user to control their content, interact with other people, and design their own interface without the expertise/software of professional web designers.
Beyond this, the concept of visitor interaction will continue to fuel the web industry. New technologies such as a lighter Flash, HTML5, Ruby on Rails, and other emerging technologies will enable the web industry to create visitor interaction with relative ease. This interactivity will emerge in almost every variation of website with the intentions of creating a more meaningful and personalized experience. One aspect of this movement is the integration of the Real Player Game (RPG) techniques, wherein the user interacts with their surroundings in a real world virtual environment.
In the video below, Carnegie Mellon professor and ex-imagineer Jesse Schell lays out a vision of the future in which our lives become, essentially, one big RPG (a more complete understanding and implementation of the visitor interaction techniques).