I've been toying with the idea of using cinemagraphs in my web design for a while. On one hand I love the aesthetics of full-screen video backdrops and I think they can become key in giving my users a "memorable experience", improving retention, but on the other hand they are very hard to implement without becoming a distraction from the content on the site.
So I started experimenting with videos where the visuals are mostly static videography - either a cinemagraph where the video has been edited so it is basically a still with just a tiny portion of the image being "live", or by taking a short segment of video, slowing it down and looping it seemlesly so there is only very subtle movement.
I think these approaches works really well. Besides reducing the distractions and risk of motion-sickness, they are generally smaller file-size wise (and I make sure that videos have a fallback image and are loaded asynchronously). But I still have not made any tests besides asking people about their general opinions.
Does any of you know of some larger-scale research investigating this problem or do you have some practical experiences that I may draw on?
The general opinion seems to be that videos look good but kill engagement and conversion. I think the truth is a little more complex than that. What do you think?