No matter what kinds of websites they visit, people often see dozens of videos per day, sometimes without even realizing what’s happening. That’s not only because online videos are so prevalent, but also because many clips start playing automatically since they’re part of advertisements.
Due to the constant influence videos have, some people tune them out automatically. However, there are several things you can do in your web design projects that give videos the best chances at getting perpetual user engagement and high retention rates. Keep reading to learn more about the elements associated with using videos successfully.
It’s usually best to do what you can to shorten the loading times for the videos on your website. If possible, consider offering users several file size choices so they can select the one that works best for the connection speed they’re on. Netflix is one extremely popular website that takes such an approach, and it’s likely a very welcome one. That’s especially true when people are restricted to using slow connections or subjected to rigid data transfer limits.
In addition to thinking about loading times from a web design perspective, simply consider convenience. People probably won’t stay engaged with a video that’s constantly buffering because the file size is too large. If people can’t get the content to load swiftly, they’ll probably look elsewhere to get their media needs served.
The Playing Format
Put simply, web designers should try to emphasize user friendliness, especially when working with videos used for marketing purposes. Similar to the point just mentioned, if people can’t figure out how to make a video begin playing, they’ll probably get distracted by other things online and just give up on watching the content they’d found initially.
However, it’s not enough to merely remember that good videos should cater to their viewers. From a design perspective, you need to figure out whether it’s best for a video to start playing automatically, or only after some type of user input. Whereas the first option is probably more foolproof, it might also create unintended consequences if a video starts automatically playing loudly when a person is in a very quiet public place.
Also, look at other specifics, such as whether you want the video to play in a pop-up window, or a window that appears on the original page, but expands when someone clicks on it. These might seem like relatively small details, but they all play a part in determining whether viewers can easily watch videos, or if they’ll get so fed up they ultimately wonder why they even bothered trying.
Appropriateness of Using Video as a Medium
Maybe you’re dealing with client demands that dictate you absolutely must figure out the most creative ways to incorporate videos into a website in progress. On the other hand, if you have more liberty to do what’s most appropriate, always consider whether adding videos is something that fits into your ultimate goals.
For example, if you’re building a website shop that’ll only sell blender parts, videos may not tie into your overall objective because those products don’t lend themselves well to a visual medium. However, maybe you’re creating a media gallery that encourages people to eat well at home. In that case, you might upload an assortment of videos that encourages people to whip up their favorite dishes in residential kitchens.
Take a look at the Hampton Creek YouTube channel to see how the brand effectively uses videos to entice people about creating healthy dishes. There’s a dedicated channel for recipe clips, and all content is delivered in straightforward ways that cater to today’s fast-paced way of life.
It’s not a good idea to add videos to a website you’re creating just because it seems like competitors are doing it. When used for the wrong reasons, videos can dilute messages, confuse viewers, and cause people to take their business elsewhere.
When designing a website, always ask, “Would videos enhance this content in any way?” If you can affirmatively answer that and feel confident about your response, it’s safe to say you’re aiming to use videos to genuinely add value to the associated material.
Although these aren’t the only factors to keep in mind when working with videos as you design websites, they’re some of the main elements that come into play. By keeping them in mind while doing projects, you’ll be in a better position to make intelligent video-related design decisions.