Professional Website Video
In case you aren’t familiar with the term “ambient video” in the context of professional website video, or (more likely) you have witnessed the trend but never heard the name uttered; professional website videos are those increasingly popular graphic elements (often live videos but sometimes motion graphic animations) that you see in the backgrounds of high end websites. They are often professional website videos that evoke brand identity or sensibility, or sometimes they are just nice-looking stock videos that fade into the background. Either way, they’re on the rise and aren’t going away anytime soon.
But since the dawning of the web, sites have earned an unfortunate reputation for bogging themselves down with excessive graphics. The internet is an attention economy, meaning it treats the user’s gaze as a scarce commodity and competes for it. All too often that has meant intrusive visual elements at the expense of coherent UI design. But fortunately, technology (particularly video technology) has improved. Better video compression means efficient transmission over limited bandwidth, and strides made in web coding (such as HTML5) have paved the way for video to smoothly integrated with the graphic web interface.
A Minimalist Approach
While less conservative websites are definitely taking advantage of these advancements, savvy designers are using them much more strategically. With minimal foreground presentations that direct users toward their browsing goals, ambient background videos enhance their experience while adding a sense of sophistication that reflects very well on the brand – making calls to action more effective and return business much more likely.
But there are rules that you must adhere to in order to integrate professional website video effectively into your website. They cannot be too distracting, hence the words “ambient” and “background.” They are there to compliment the content, not upstage it. Choose your ambient background videos with the intention of augmenting user experience without over-complicating the design.
Professional website videos are also meant to underlay the website’s premiere elements, which are most likely textual in nature. And since text, obviously, must be legible, the videos should contrast it. This means that, if the text is white, the video should be dark enough to help it ‘pop.’ But don’t simply lower the brightness as much as you can. Rather, experiment with different color correction techniques to give the video a look that is washed out enough to fade into the background without diminishing its quality.
Or better yet, hire a professional video specialist to work in concert with you and/or your web designer. The bottom line is that as the technology becomes more accessible, the bar will be raised all across the web in terms of UI design. Hire the best people to help you get the traffic (and repeat traffic) you need using professional website video.