Can Videos Improve the Performance of Your Web Design?

:: Sarah Parker, Designs2HTML Ltd. ::

Eighty-percent of marketers use video on their websites and their designers need to support these efforts. Regardless of how crisp your website's content is, if you haven't incorporated engaging videos, you are losing out on valuable performance metrics, like time on site and higher conversion rate, which is a reflection of how well a website is designed. 

Video does wonders when combined with other Web elements

Although, there are websites that have been successful by simply incorporating video, there are some which haven't been able to attain a good recognition even with the aid of a video. The reason for this may be obvious. Such websites lack in rendering a compelling user experience. A prominent technique of combating such issues is combining videos with other Web elements such as animations, 3-D effects, graphics etc. As a Web designer, you can always choose to mix and match videos with animations. The Internet is flooded with interactive screencasts and tutorials that teach you the complete technique of combining videos with animation. You need to remember the fact that videos can become way more sophisticated blink tags if you aren't careful about using them in the right way. 

Adding a video to Web design isn't 'ROCKET-SCIENCE'

Addition of videos and animations in your next Web design project is definitely not something to worry about. You don't need to hop onto a range of resources for learning the incorporation of videos into a Web design. Since there's no specific open source library available for syncing videos with animations, you need to use a JavaScript animation library or CSS keyframes/transitions for the same. 

Let's take a dive through the process of adding videos into a Web design 

1. Define the API

It is always better to stick to a single CSS animation for handling small projects. The process of defining the API makes complete sense because it is important for you to figure out how someone else would use the library to write the JavaScript. A handy option to segregate the working of videos and animations is by inserting data in XML or JSON. On the contrary, you may also opt for eliminating separate data files and consolidating all the configurations into pure JavaScript function calls. 

2. Host the videos

After having done with the process of defining the API, the next step is to host the video. Being a Web designer, you need to be very careful in ensuring that the videos which you choose to incorporate in the design aren't embedded with Flash or Silverlight. The reason for this is that such videos can easily reduce design options for you, restricting you from being creative to your maximum potential. Make sure the video-hosting service supports HTML5's video tag because such a tag is simpler to style and can easily move around on a Web page. Moreover, with such video tags, you can even apply CSS filters and use CSS animations directly on the video itself. The only downside of video tags is that it isn't compatible with Internet Explorer 8. 

Controlling CSS Animations with JavaScript is simple

JavaScript serves as the bridge between CSS animation and video. Animations don't work unless and until a style is applied to the same. With CSS, you can gain access to multiple ways of triggering extra styles to your video animations. As an attempt to sync animations to a video, you'll need to pause, stop, resume, reverse running animations and even skip to the middle of an animation. All this is easily possible with JavaScript. As the first step, simply get the CSS animation out of the style sheet into the JavaScript. Make sure every CSS animation comprises of two parts. The first part is the keyframe which decides the behavior of the animation such as duration, direction etc. and the second part is the function that triggers the animation. After this, fetch the timing information that is attached to each element that would be animated using a specific data attribute. As the final step, you'll need to do coding for performing specific tasks such as pausing and resuming animations, starting an animation from the middle etc. 

Videos - Do they work for every kind of website?

Yes, background videos work as a best match for every type of website. Whether your website is based on a magazine, blogs, entertainment or corporate processes, videos have always served as the best means of communicating the message to website visitors. 

Wrapping Up

So, with these many possibilities available, videos have a bright future in the Web design world. In addition to this, it'd also be quite interesting to see how videos transform the fate of websites. 

Sarah Parker is a creative Web design expert in Designs2HTML Ltd. with vast experience in Research and development vertex of Web design technologies. She used to write on different Markup conversion processes and socialize it through social media platforms.