As videos become more widely used across the internet, more and more websites are starting to incorporate video content as well. Often however this is done fairly haphazardly, without taking into account that video by its very nature is different from other forms of content. Frankly speaking, slapping a video into an existing web design without carefully considering its impact may do more harm than good in many cases.
In order to optimize a web design for video content, there are several factors that need to be taken into account:
When video content is part of a web page it is safe to say that it is intended to be prominent. That is why as a rule of thumb all videos should be placed in such a way that they are high up in the visual hierarchy of the design – with most located just below the headline. At very least any and all video content should be above the fold, as the last thing you want is for it to go unnoticed, or worse, start to automatically play in the background.
The dimensions of the video (i.e. its width and height) is important in terms of how it interacts with other elements. Because video content is generally intended to be prominent, the dimensions can be large relative to other elements. Additionally it is important to consider mobile devices too and ideally use responsive design to adjust the video dimensions depending on the size of the screen.
While it isn’t uncommon to find videos that are set up to automatically begin playing when a website loads, these tend to have fallen out of favor from a design standpoint. Not only do viewers find them unappealing, but they can significantly increase the loading time of a webpage as well. As such from a design point of view it is often best to stay away from autoplay, and instead use a click-to-play system instead.
As mentioned previously, autoplay can increase the loading time of a webpage, but loading time in general is a factor in its own right because of the affect it can have on bounce rates and search engine rankings. Considering your website load is going to be increased by the presence of video, it is important your design takes that into account and does not include too many other ‘heavy’ elements that might slow it down even further.
Search engine and social media optimization
Although mostly unseen, it is important your web design contains key ingredients for search engines such as metadata, and transcripts containing relevant keywords and text. Additionally because videos are very own shared on social media it would be a good idea to take that into account as well and use additional standards such as open graph and Twitter cards to optimize the content if it is ever shared.
As you can see each of these factors has a part to play in making a web design video-friendly and ensuring that it performs well – albeit on different fronts. That being said none of the factors are particularly complicated, and so long as you are aware of the part they have to play and take them into account you should be on the right track.
Considering it is easier than ever to create video content using any kind of video recorder as well as the benefits that video content can provide, it makes sense to start including it. Now that you know how optimize your web design, you should be able to reap the rewards while avoiding the pitfalls associated with it.
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