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Should You Use Videos in Website Design?

Should You Use Videos in Website Design?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Therefore, shouldn’t a video made up of thousands of pictures be worth exponentially more? Logically, it should follow that a well-made video will add more engagement and dynamism to your website than a simple picture or slider would, right? Like most things in life, it’s never really that simple. Videos are themselves orders of magnitude more complicated to create than images are. Therefore, using them as part of your website’s core design should come with some careful consideration.

Length, Format, and Fallback

If you are going to use a video as some type of introductory banner at the top of the page, you will need to make sure the video itself is well-suited to this type of usage. The purpose of the video should be to give your audience a brief introduction to your site and what it’s all about. It shouldn’t be too long, since the meat of the information will be contained deeper into the site, and you probably don’t want your visitors spending multiple minutes at the top of the home page. More likely, they would get bored and scroll away if the video drags on too long. Data consumption and load times are also a big consideration, for mobile users especially.

The playback is going to be silent 99% of the time, so you will have to make sure the video gets your point across with no audio. Including an audio track at all will needlessly increase the file size.

Also ensure that the size and aspect ratio of the video are suited to the layout of the page. Most videos are designed to fit the aspect ratio of the full page. It can be cropped with CSS, as long as important images or text is not cut off; but the best practice for saving on file size is to make sure the video’s native aspect ratio is suited for the format to begin with, even if it’s an unconventional ratio.

Do not by any means try to use a YouTube embed as an auto playing background video. Trying to force that use case is a much bigger headache than it is worth. Vimeo has much more flexible embed options that work much better but hosting the video files yourself and displaying them with the HTML5

If using the

Autoplay Woes

Depending on the device and browser, automatically playing the video at all may be a challenge. By default, most modern browsers will at least prohibit audio playback on an auto playing video. If the visitor is using a browser with stricter settings or has intentionally disabled automatic playback, then the video may simply not play at all unless the visitor manually initiates playback. In these cases, making sure the video’s poster image works well as a banner image may be the only way forward.

By Reality Concepts 9-5-2023