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Why text is sometimes better than video on the web

June 5, 2013

Video can add a lot to a web page but it has some drawbacks. Just wanted to point those out.

  1. You can’t skim video to gauge relevancy, to find a juicy quote, or to skip to the conclusion
  2. Browsers on phones
  3. Harder to say “read the third paragraph” (Yes you can say “start at 48 seconds in” but it’s not the same)
  4. Can’t copy a juicy quote
  5. Visitors may have audio turned off or in use for other things
  6. Low bandwidth situations still exist (3G broadband cards anyone?)
  7. Visitor may not want to share your content with everyone in earshot

You get the idea. Make sure video will work for all your visitors all the time before you make it the only way to get content from a page. And seriously consider if having a video start automatically when a page loads is a good idea.

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2 Comments
  1. I have been working much more with video (for my Mini-Lessons.info tutorial site), but I try to make sure that everything is also available in text (including a transcript), and even have extra information which doesn’t fit in the video well. The combination seems to work well, though there are certainly many pages better suited to text.

    Oh, and I would never have a video auto-play. I find that incredibly annoying and presumptuous.

    Like

  2. Jen permalink

    I feel like the only one that has a problem with videos, everything seems to be going video. I dont have the patience or time for videos I prefer to read the content, skim the content for relevance and would much rather see screen shots when necessary. If there is a video with information I need I keep searching until I find some other resource to help me with what I need. Im scared that eventually I will be forced to watch videos. =(

    Like

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