Auto play videos? You just lost me.

Warning a rant ahead

I am not a web site designer expert. I know a little HTML, I know why css is used. But as you can see (I use blogger or wordpress) I don’t design websites. But I use them.

Why? Why do supposed professional sites, that are set up to “help you with your website traffic” make a fundamental mistake?

You click on their page a few second later suddenly a video plays, loudly. The worst ones will have very little written content. Look this is something I know not to do. If you run one of these sites: here are the reasons I click you close as soon as it starts to play.

1. It’s annoying.
Auto playing videos are the new equivalent of embedded midi files. Don’t remember those? For those of you too young to remember, it was a fad to embed midi files into your web page. So you would click on a page and get hit with an 8 bit rendition of Pachelbel’s Canon.
Setting up your video to do auto play is the same thing. I am not going to waste my time to look for the stop button. And some of you don’t have one. You know what I do, Close tab, never look or listen to what you say.

2. Its like a screaming commercial.
I hate loud and annoying commercials. I tune them out. Same with the video clips.

3. Might not be the best time to watch something.
There are times I am using my computer in a public setting, and I can’t find my headphones. I don’t want “WELCOME TO OUR SIXTEEN PART SERIES!” blaring out of my little speakers. Close tab. I might not have time to watch your twenty minute video. I am looking for information, not an infomercial.

4. Some of us don’t have the processing power.
I use my netbook a lot, it is one of the first ones, not much in the way of memory (I do have 2 gb of ram, but only 4 gb on my HD) I can watch videos on it. But I like to clear the screen before I do. Suddenly having a video pop up eats up my resources and I hate you.

5. YOU look unprofessional.
For all the reasons above.

6. YOU insulted my intelligence.
Obviously you don’t think I know what a play button is or that I can’t read.

7. You got the click, but nothing else.
Traffic is measured in the number of clicks on your site. Your site was good enough to catch my eye when I was looking through the search results, but I did not stay. But you will claim a victory. But I DID NOT STAY! A good site will make people want to stay. It will make them want to find out more. A blaring video just shows your potential repeat visitors that you are not worth the effort.

Do you even look at the stats of how long some one stayed on your site? I do, if I keep someone on my site for 2 minutes or longer I did a great job. If you have a lot of under 30 second looks, you are not getting your message across.

If you want a video on your page, fine, but make it optional. I like vlogging, I watch some on youtube and other sites. I don’t mind videos. There are some sites I follow that only do vlogs, but I come back because they do two things.

1. Don’t autoplay.
2. Either have a full transcript of the vlog up or a nice summary.

I realize the people that design those annoying sites, won’t read this. Too bad, they should listen to their potential users. Oh wait they can’t, the video is too loud! I don’t know what internet guru told you that this was okay, but it isn’t.

(updated from my original post at MariMiniatt.com)

3 Comments

  1. Yes! I hate autoplay music and videos both! I always have music going, so when those start up immediately I have layers of sound going on and it grates on my nerves. worse are the ones where they hide the stop buttons, so that you finally have to just mute it. I used to have a lot of problems on my old laptop playing videos and it would sometimes freeze the whole works up. Ugh!

  2. I’ll admit I have no idea about audio files that play automatically since I have sound turned off on both my desktop and netbook PCs (which gives you some idea of how much I like noises coming out of them). The video thing, though, I’m absolutely 100% with you. Since I only have dial up internet, I never see videos. I see something spinning or some other indicator of loading and never stick around long enough (and there’s plenty of time) to see anything – I just get out of that site right then and there and look for what I want elsewhere.

  3. I know I said this before, but I agree completely! I’ve closed websites for this because I was too lazy to hit the mute button. No site is that interesting to me.

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