I'd really like to know of any good studies, or posts about the impact that an auto-playing video has on a home or landing page.

Impact being a change in conversion rate, bounce rate, time on site, etc....something measurable

I've found a few articles about how video on a homepage has increased conversions (such as the dropbox case study), but it didn't answer whether it'd be better to have it auto-play or not.

I am looking for studies or posts with data, not an individual's (or company's) opinion

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  • the question is similar to a degree, but am asking for answers with hard data – forlogos Dec 11 '13 at 17:47
  • You won't find data on the effectiveness of video for landing pages. That is to broad. What you're looking for is effectiveness of different video messages and visual techniques. For that, you should speak to a professional video producer. – cgTag Dec 18 '13 at 0:45

you don't need a study when everyone's opinion off the bat is the same....but here you go: this presentation http://www.slideshare.net/texasanimator/top-10-best-practices-with-video-in-ux references this blog: http://www.normalmodes.com/blog/ which supposedly has the data you desire. didn't see a search box to find it, sorry.

edit: better reference: w3c wcag guidelines clearly point out that using autoplay on any media can interfere with user's ability to use the document. before you point out the "can", it will interfere with every screen reader user, which is an accessibility issue. http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#visual-audio-contrast-dis-audio

  • Could you please summarise the pages you have linked to in your answer? I visited your first link, but the only thing I found was "Studies show..." without mentioning what those studies were. Also, opinions that people hold should be taken with a pinch of salt -- it is common opinion that Vitamin C cures the common cold, but is also false (not supported by data). – Brendon Dec 18 '13 at 0:32
  • not sure how to summarize them anymore than already did. the slides say what you want and link to the blog. opinions that people hold in regards to facts should be taken with a pinch of salt. opinions people give to you in regards to how they feel, i.e., their opinion, should be taken as truths. my opinion that vitamin c cures the cold is nonvalid, but my opinion that vitamin c is the coolest vitamin is valid. even if you disagree with it...i can't prove how cool it is, you can't prove how uncool it is. – albert Dec 18 '13 at 0:44

A user generally only expects something to happen when they've executed an action. Taking away that control from the user means you're now in charge of their experience and must tread very carefully.

Having any sort of presentation, especially one that includes audio and video, start automatically greatly increases the chances of confusing the user. They'll be annoyed if they weren't given a chance to adjust their speakers or plug in headphones. They may switch tabs/applications only to come back and be halfway through the presentation. They may be confused by the fact that audio is coming from a different tab other than the one they're currently viewing, etc.

You never want to leave the user wondering "what did I do to make this happen?".

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