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I have received a design to implement for a new homepage on an existing music entertainment site. I have wireframed the new design below (it's already been designed and UX has not happened, I am encouraging a more thorough approach before implementing the design)

wireframe of new homepage design

I am uncomfortable with the expectation that users will play the video at all without an introduction or explanation of what the video will show, it is a video showing some of the acts for hire on the site in action and conveys the typical feel-good atmosphere of fulfilled bookings - it does not have a spoken narrative but the music/sound is important.

I don't want to be the spanner in the works as I am a developer and front end engineer not a UX expert but this just doesn't sit right with me as it is, any evidence based responses most welcome!

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Have you looked at some of the related questions listed on the side here? ux.stackexchange.com/questions/6834/… for instance covers some pros and cons. –  Koen Lageveen Apr 17 '13 at 11:53
    
Yes in particular I looked at ux.stackexchange.com/questions/6834/… but felt this was different as the video is demonstrating the product and music rather than describing a company and this is not a brochure site –  A Macdonald Apr 17 '13 at 11:54
    
I assume the video won't play automatically? –  Matt Obee Apr 17 '13 at 12:44
    
@Matt That's not been suggested, auto-playing with sound on (sound/music is one of the main elements of the video) is bad manners isn't it? –  A Macdonald Apr 17 '13 at 12:59
    
@A Macdonald Yes indeed. Just checking. –  Matt Obee Apr 17 '13 at 13:00
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2 Answers

I've been working for years as web designer/developer in a communication company. From experience I can tell you that a well done smart video is better than anything to explain concepts in briefs and reaching the point.

For your doubt:

"I am uncomfortable with the expectation that users will play the video at all without an introduction or explanation of what the video will show"

What about creating an Intro animation that shows some frames of the video and finished with a nice play button? Lazy people won't play the video people who want to dive in will.

If the video duration is long having some previews can make the difference to persuade people to press play and get their attention.

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I've Googled around a bit and there also seems to be some evidence of video enhancing conversion. unbounce.com/conversion-rate-optimization/… –  Koen Lageveen Apr 17 '13 at 14:05
    
@kante thanks for answering, the video is 65 seconds long. So, in your experience, do users not play videos like this without some sort of intro/teaser? –  A Macdonald Apr 17 '13 at 14:07
    
@Koen Lageveen thanks for the link - good to see a study (albeit from a video proponent) like this and interesting to note lightboxed video scored higher than in-page, which would suggest intro text... –  A Macdonald Apr 17 '13 at 14:15
    
@Macdonald Well if the video itself is goin to be short. It is worthed to write that, to encourage people to play it. No sense to make a summary of a summary then... –  kante Apr 17 '13 at 14:21
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I'm not a UX expert, but as web user, I would say yes and no.

It's a good, and a great idea to have a video explaining the site and stuff, but you need to have text also to cover the main points of the video.

If I'm in a hurry, I won't look at the video. If I don't know what's in the video and don't know the company and I just stumbled on their site, well most likely I won't watch the video. In these cases, I will want text. Text is easy to look at and when you are used to read, you can read really fast and get the mains points of a text by just eyeing quickly at it. If the text seems interesting then most likely I'll watch the video.

It might be a good idea to make it play automatically, but be careful. If I'm on my cellphone and get to the same page with the video auto-playing I will hate the company. I don't necessarily have much data, and don't want to use it playing videos I don't care about.

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