Auto Play

I’m a big fan of having video and even audio on a website. Having that media adds a whole new level to the overall user experience. That user experience is what a great website is all about. What I’m not at all a fan of is having that media, video or audio, set to start playing on its own. The media needs to be set up so that the user has to start playing it.

The problem with auto play is that not everyone wants to sse, or more importantly hear, that media. There have been a couple of times that I’ve been at a coffee house and doing research and I’ll click on a link in Google and be taken to a site and all of a sudden the video start play and the audio starts right along with it. I know it’s a coffee house and I don’t have to be quite, but what if I had been working at a library? What if I was someone browsing the web at work? Any setting and the outcome is the same – I hit the back button as quickly as I could and went with the next site available in Google. Auto play can very frequently have the unintended consequence of scaring away users right away.

When planning and building a website, one of the guiding rules to keep in mind is that it’s all about the user experience. Some users may want the audio or video experience, some may not. Either way, it’s their choice to make. If a media is set to auto play as soon as the page loads, the website is deciding what the experience will be for the user, rather than letting the user choose their experience.

Should I Include My Video on YouTube?

Unlike the archaic days of the web when we had to deal with dial up connections and big clunky CRT monitors, videos are becoming a very common thing to see on a website. One question I get asked a lot is if I think clients should add their videos to YouTube. I’m yet to find a case where my answer to that wasn’t – absolutely.

One of the main reasons to add your video to YouTube is because it is the second most used search engine on the web, second only to Google. What does this mean for your video? Simple, more traffic. More traffic means more opportunities for your video to be seen and for your message and company to be heard.

Another nice perk of uploading your video to YouTube is that it is very easy to embed the video on to your site. When you embed a video from YouTube, they will provide all the code that is needed and it is a simple copy and paste. YouTube is many times better at storing and playing your video as well which means lower bandwidth on your server that is hosting your website.

If you have videos but haven’t added them to YouTube yet, I’d strong consider it. Videos are a great addition to a website, and if they are uploaded to YouTube they make for an even greater impact on your overall online exposure.