I'm trying to come up with the best way to serve videos on a website. Currently there's an instance that says, "Watch video" with a little camera icon. It's in contrast to "Read report" with a little document icon as one example.

Now the document opens as its own page. But the video I'm not sure how to handle. I could see 3 solutions:

  1. Have the link expand a div using some javascript that contains the video which autoplays once expanded
  2. Use a lightbox type of deal to serve the video in
  3. Create a page just for the video. This seems bad for SERPs though.

What do people generally expect to occur when they see a link that says, "Watch video"? Is there another, better option?

1 Answer 1


Simply put: people expect to see a video when they click 'watch video'. I think it very much depends from user to user, what implementation he expects (what is he used to?). With the visual design you can give hints of how thing are going to work. So for example, if you choose for the first implementation: leave some white space for the video and make the small div (before expanding) visible (maybe with a frame or icon?). But I don't think this is the absolute best solution. To be really honest, I think you can make all three work, depending on how they are presented on the page before the video is playing.

I btw don't see how a seperate page would be bad for search results. When people are searching for a video, maybe it can be handy when it's on a separate page. A separate page can create some extra functionality as well, like pointing to a specific timestamp in the video with a URL. Byt what I can image is a bulk of pages with a relatively small amount of content (I don't know what scale we are talking about here). So like so many times in interaction design: it's all about context.

  • 1
    Who's Dull? And yes for the separate page I meant because it wouldn't have any content on it.
    – Ryan
    Nov 7, 2014 at 0:54
  • I was dull for stating the obvious. The page would have content on it btw. The video is content and it can be accompanied with a title and maybe even a description. The latter two will improve search results. (Maybe 'simply' was a better word instead of 'dull'. Sorry, I'm not a native English speaker.)
    – Ruudt
    Nov 7, 2014 at 9:38
  • Generally you should just leave it out entirely but if you want to word it like you did than "Simply put, people..." would be best. I thought "Dull" was some UX expert/author that you were quoting.
    – Ryan
    Nov 7, 2014 at 14:07
  • Hmm just realized an issue with separate pages. If I do "Watch testimonial video" but instead it brings up a page with video at the top and transcript below, there's an extra step unless I make that page autoplay.. Perhaps the expanding DIV is the better solution :\
    – Ryan
    Nov 7, 2014 at 14:40

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