Interactive GRID features that boost user engagement
GRID was built for interactive exploration. So when you consider ways to attract and engage new clients on your website, GRID may just have the perfect combination of features for your business. Smart, cost-effective, and easy to implement, interactive GRID documents can actively contribute to trust-building between you and your clients — and that’s what really matters.
These little beauties are as easy to use as they are versatile. Buttons set a target cell or range to a defined value and can be used to increase or decrease that value, generate random values within a given range, and a multitude of other actions.
In this example of a lottery odds calculator & simulator, a button is used to recreate the behavior of a random number generator with the RANDBETWEEN function.
This can also be achieved by adding a Recalculate button to initiate a recalculation of random values. The practical applications are vast and almost guaranteed to engage your viewers. Who can resist a button?
One of GRID’s most powerful new Professional features is the Submit button, which sends input information to the document author via email. Authors can then create submittable forms like price quote requests and order forms, and include fields for contact information in their GRID documents tailored to the needs of their clients.
Embed a form like this on your website, and you’ve not only built a compelling lead-generation tool to gather important customer information, you’re anticipating the needs of current and potential clients too. Boosting engagement in this way results in a mutually beneficial relationship with customers who might just become fans of what you do.
2. Input Fields
Alright, so no one said that input fields were the most thrilling of elements, but this easily underestimated feature is exactly what makes the aforementioned submittable forms so useful.
An input field is basically an open invitation for your audience to type directly into a field in your GRID document and interact with you and your business. As a consultant, for example, making it easy for clients to connect and offer feedback is an essential part of refining your customer experience. This helps to ensure that the services you offer are meeting and exceeding your audience’s expectations.
Since input fields allow for direct input of a value to a target cell and can be formatted to increase or decrease that value incrementally, they’re particularly useful when a viewer wants to input certain values into a GRID document and see those results reflected directly in the accompanying model.
This company valuation example shows how input fields and sliders work in tandem to facilitate both specific analysis based on input values and exploration of possible outcomes via sliders.
3. Dropdown selections
Dropdown selections set the value of a target cell based on a range of available options defined in your spreadsheet.
In the case of an online order form, dropdowns make it easy for viewers to select a personalized scenario, placing power in the hands of customers who may want to compare their options before they commit.
This fictional Home inspection service uses dropdown selections to let viewers choose the type of inspection they want, the type of dwelling to be inspected, and allows for a choice of inspection date.
And if you implement hierarchical selections using the FILTER or UNIQUE function with your dropdown selections, this feature gains even more specific capabilities.
4. Radio buttons and checkboxes
Ok — two features, one point. If you’re embedding an order form on your website, you’ll want to provide clients with as much information as possible so that they feel confident purchasing your services.
Radio buttons offer viewers a short list of options to choose from, while checkboxes let viewers select one of two available values/options. Radio buttons and checkboxes can be useful in helping viewers navigate the data and make the right choices for them.
5. Sliders: everybody's favorite
You might be surprised by how powerful a single slider can be when used in conjunction with a complex model like a scatter plot.
This stunning, GRID-built recreation of Hans Rosling’s “Bubbles” animation at TED 2006, allows viewers to easily navigate through a complex set of chronological data, making analysis a breeze — all thanks to a slider!
Multiple sliders invite a beautiful interplay between you and the model you’re interacting with. The use of more than one slider exponentially increases the precision with which you can define values, helping to quickly clarify data at any level of nuance.
In this 5-year financial plan, there are 11 sliders representing a variety of assumptions. Visually, sliders are appealing — hey, they’re fun! They’re also super-effective at welcoming viewers to interact with a document. With a slider, there’s no barrier between viewers and the answers they seek. Sliders elicit an excitingly immediate visual response in the model when a viewer wonders “What if?”
Building better customer relationships
You may already be seeing how effective interactive GRID features can be — especially used in combination. A price quote calculator is a perfect example of the benefits of multifaceted interactivity. But the bottom line? Interactive features invite and significantly increase engagement. They place power in the hands of informed viewers, generating your business high-quality leads and subsequently, stronger customer relationships.