Using audio and video on your site can greatly enhance your visitors’ experience. It gives them alternative ways to receive information and makes your site more interesting. But it is important not to push these mediums on your visitors, because it may actually be a turnoff for some. Here are some things to look out for:
1. Try to avoid using audio or video that automatically starts when a visitor arrives at your site. Most people want the power to choose when they watch video or listen to audio on the web, and if that is taken away, it could leave a bad taste in their mouths.
2. If you’re embedding videos, don’t put too many on any one page. This can cause slow load times, and possibly even browser crashes for users who do not have the fastest connections or the newest computers.
3. Don’t take a “one size fits all” approach. If you’re streaming audio or video, offer options for those with slower connections alongside the standard options. You can provide written summaries for recorded content, for example.
4. Don’t forget to seek input from your website’s visitors. If you’re considering audio or video but have not implemented them yet, consider doing a user survey to find out how they would like to see it used. If you are already utilizing audio and video, ask them if they feel you are using it in the best way possible. You’re providing these things for the benefit of your users, so it’s crucial to make sure that they are in fact benefiting from them.
It’s important not to alienate anyone through your use of audio and video. The idea is to give your users more options, not to make things more complex or decrease usability.