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If there is a large video on a homepage that autoplays:

  1. What types of disabilities may this impact, in terms of how it may distract people from a task?
  2. Additionally, how may the intensity of a video negatively impact the user's perception of the website?
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  • Does it have sound or not? No browser will allow to play video with sound, so that's a huge consideration
    – Devin
    Apr 4 at 18:02

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A video auto-playing on a website's homepage (that users didn't specifically go to for the video) will always increase your users cognitive load, distracting them from their task and risking a negative experience regardless of disability.

To answer your question...

Users with focus-related disabilities can get distracted by the video, forget why they came to the site, and close the tab to leave. Users with over-stimulation related disabilities would see the unexpected video or hear unexpected sounds, then immediately close to tab as a reaction to the stimulation. Users with sight-limiting disabilities will miss out on the video content anyway, potentially having a negative experience believing they can't access some content.

But really a homepage auto-play video is likely a negative experience to all your users, and your goals. Unless the purpose of your website is to make users watch this video, don't make them watch one.

I used to work at an ad agency and have to argue this with clients all the time. They just spend a ton of money on a fancy marketing video, of course they want it to be front and centre on their new website. I would generate a few task-based user flows to demonstrate that a video auto-play doesn't help users accomplish anything. There was a really good case study on homepage autoplay videos relating to page drops, easy to find on Google that I would also share. I'm struggling to Google that now, but if I find it, I'll send it your way.

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