Video and User Experience

video user experience

Video and User Experience

When you have a website you are in competition with a host of other websites in exactly the same area as you, not to mention all of the other sites vying for attention, whatever their content or purpose. The bottom line is you have to work hard to attract and retain visitor interest. Users don’t expect simply to be informed or talked at; they increasingly need to be engaged and entertained. The selective and creative use of video is one way of achieving this.

Video can be used in many ways to enhance your website. It can create a mood or feel for the website, making visitors feel at ease, well disposed or interested in where the proposition is going. How you use this attribute will depend very much upon what your website is promoting. If your website has a creative or artistic leaning this should reflect in the type of video and mood you employ. If you have a more functional raison d’être, you can use video to illustrate how things work or how they provide users with results. You might also use video of satisfied customers showing how you have solved their problems and made their lives easier.

The key concepts in this is entertainment and engagability. A boring stream of talking heads, however worthy, will not attract and retain attention for very long. If you have engaging characters on your staff (or an engaging character yourself!) then you might be able to produce something that holds the viewer for a short time; but you need to tell a story and tell it in an amusing and interesting style. The video might be educational, informative, promotional, testimonial; but it needs to be persuasive in a creative and attractive manner. User experience research can soon tell you whether your users are engaging with what you are releasing.

One of the ways of doing this include coming up with a novel, unusual angle on your product or service. This might mean putting your business into an unusual context or environment or presenting your message in an unexpected and perhaps bizarre way. Using animal presenters or transposing your business setting to somewhere completely incongruous are certainly ways of attracting attention to yourself! The very fact of movement on your website will catch the eye; if you can add something memorable and riveting to this factor, you might well be onto a winner.

Good practice in video user experience

There are lots of supposed technical issues attached to the use of videos; I’m not sure that all of these apply to every case but certainly some of them are worth noting. For example, it is best to compress the files so they download quickly – people hate waiting for things to download on sites these days. Don’t autoplay because apparently this irritates a significant amount of people – I would treat this one a little warily; if the content is good and grabbing people will go with it. Make it easy to share – this is a good one because there is nothing more effective than the concept that goes viral. Keep it short is another of those that I generally agree with but if you have something that is really working and holds the audience fast, then they will stick with it – and so should you.

If you would like more information or advice on the use of video on websites, why not tap into our extensive knowledge by giving us a call free on 08000 246 247 or dropping us an email at hello@ux247.com.

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