I came across the term “immersion” recently in connection with a couple of themes on ThemeForest. These were portfolio themes that seemed to be offering a different kind of user experience than the rest. Here's one example. It's called the Immersion WordPress theme.
The general premise behind this type of theme is that it presents content in a way that provides your audience with some form of sensory experience – predominantly visual and auditory. The content is accessed as is, without introduction, with full immediacy. These themes often make use of the entire screen real estate of your device – be it a laptop or an ipad.
The use of the term immersion as a marketing tool in WordPress premium theme design got me thinking about the idea of immersion and the web in general; about how we experience content online; about how we experience content offline. To what extent do these themes offer a more “immersive” experience than the fully mediatized societies we traverse on a day-to-day basis?
In this video, and forgive its rambling nature, I offer a few simple thoughts on WordPress as an immersive experience. I highlight a particular WordPress theme by horizontalwp.com that shows this idea of immersion at work in its most basic form. One of the reasons I'm writing about this is because I'd like to find out what your experience of the web is. How immersive is the internet for you in general? What sort of experiential relationship do you have with content online? How important is the form factor of the device you use in translating/enabling/nurturing that experience?