I have a mobile only application where user can record and upload a video within the app. There are 2 screens in the process:

  1. Camera screen to record video
  2. Preview screen to view video before uploading

Flow: Open application camera and start recording video by tapping the record button. Stop recording by tapping the stop button. After tapping the stop button, the video is displayed in preview screen User can replay the full video and add title before uploading the video.


  1. Should the video automatically play on the preview screen? Does user expects it to auto-play?

  2. What is benefit of auto-playing the video or not auto-playing?

3 Answers 3


My answer in short for your questions;

I would say, you should not automatically play the video on the preview screen. Avoid cognitive overload and clutter by providing too many controls, while enabling users to enjoy a pleasant experience by giving them control. Let them to play it whenever they want. Let them feel that they are in charge. :)

If you let the video play automatically, there is a higher chance of uploading the video without adding a title (in case if you don't have a validation).


The short and simple answer is don't autoplay

But I want to mention the reasoning behind that so that you can take an informed decision.

Should the video automatically play on the preview screen?

This screen has one and only one purpose; playing the video (of course Pause, Stop and Back are there as well). So, the answer is yes.

Does user expects it to auto-play?

This is slightly nuanced. Normally if I click on a video, the next thing I am expecting is for it to start playing. But in this case the action of "Stop Recording" is opening up this window hence the video playing isn't the expected action. So the answer is, no

But then there are apps like Facebook and Instagram autoplay videos with the latter not even giving the option to change this setting

What is benefit of auto-playing the video or not auto-playing?

As far as UX is concerned, give the user the control over auto-playing the video. You can give them the option to select autoplay by giving them a pop-up on the first user and then placing it in thepreferences. The main reason why we try to avoid autoplay is user discretion as we don't know whether the user wants or is in a position to be able to watch the video.


TLDR; Autoplaying can be okay, but keep sound muted.

1 - Do users expect it?

The usercase is not like youtube or something. They've just recorded the video so they know what it's about. They might want to review, but usually they don't.

2 - What are the pros and cons of autoplay?

+If you put a finger on the lens, if you have the camera upside down, you can instantly see it.

+it can let you edit in context (filters, title name etc). Can be either with video or paused frames/timeline.

+it makes the app feel more interesting than black background with text buttons.

+saves a potential click.

-it will be distracting from menu options and progress.

-nobody likes unexpected sound, especially in public settings.

-costs more processing power.

Suggestion: show a still image as background.

enter image description here

You can still see if the video is terribly failed, you can add title and filters and see what they look like, but it will not be obnoxious or distracting.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.