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I have a blog where all articles in the front page are displayed in a masonry layout, with a thumbnail and a title beneath it. And you have to click them to read.

Imagine BuzzFeed

Now, sometimes I blog about videos, and I thought I should add a play-button image or a youtube logo onto the thumbnails. I thought this would be a good idea because then users can differentiate between the articles, which ones are "normal/text" articles and which ones are videos.

I've seen some sites do this, but for some reason the major sites do not. Examples are Buzzfeed again and Huffingtonpost. You can't tell which of their articles are just text/pictures or videos. Why is that?

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A play button would work, but you could also indicate video with a film strip type border around your thumbnail.

enter image description here

I think some sites now take the stance there is no real reason why a user might avoid clicking on content because it contains video, so they don't distinguish. I think users might care if they are worried about data usage on a mobile device, have a very low bandwidth connection, or are browsing from a work pc.

  • The film strip border is a nice idea, but don't think that would go well with the rest of the design. And could you perhaps clarify what you meant by "I think some sites now take the stance there is no real reason why a user might avoid clicking on content because it contains video, so they don't distinguish". They don't believe users avoid videos, that's why they don't indicate them? – Tony Fire Jun 12 '14 at 19:44
  • @TonyFire I mean that the sites want users to view all content that interests them, rather than avoiding some types of content (videos). More traffic means more revenue. They believe that people no longer have a reason to avoid video content articles, but perhaps they noticed that the hit-rate for video content was still lower, and saw an improvement when they stopped indicating if an article contained video. Big sites do a massive amount of this kind of analysis of user behavior. – Franchesca Jun 13 '14 at 7:40

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