The Power of Full-Width Video Backgrounds

Video continues to evolve into a more effective and powerful storytelling medium on the web. With improvements in technology and web development techniques, video is being displayed on websites in creative ways that would have been impossible just a few years ago. You have literally seconds to engage a client with your website and one of the ways to insure this is to dazzle them with a full-width video background or header.

Until recently web video was Flash-based, generally unstable and of poor quality. Limitations of browsers, bandwidth, and computers caused slow load times and often jerky or intermittent playback. Recent advancements with browsers and the implementation of technologies like CS3 and HTML5 have paved the way for fluid, cinematic video experiences. With such a large focus on storytelling, it is easy to understand why full-width video is becoming so common.

Full-width web video does have it’s drawbacks. Depending on the end-user’s bandwidth and technology, load times will be slower with video. Mobile platforms will usually disable video backgrounds. Given the continued rise in mobile access of the web this will present challenges to video intensive sites. Given the technical drawbacks for full-width video backgrounds, it is always wise to evaluate whether your site will truly benefit from an impactful full-width video. Because this content can be so compelling it is usually worth implementing.

Below is a compilation of some video backgrounds we have done for clients:

Web video is extremely effective for movie and other entertainment sites. A great example of this is the Life of Pi website, which uses a full-width video header that contains loops of some of the films most visually splendid moments. Interactive controls allow the user to move back and forth among these videos and there is a widget for sharing the videos with friends.

Another perfect application for full-width video would be for sites that promote experiences or demonstrate the experience of using a particular product. The Yacht Club site perfectly showcases the luxurious yacht lifestyle, where the focus is more on the experience than the product itself. GoPro’s website offers mind blowing footage captured with actual GoPro cameras. Here, video is used to transport the viewer through various adventures that would be difficult to describe in any other medium.

In some cases full-width video is just effective as an art piece or topic of conversation. I can’t explain what Uniqlo’s website is about, but I am completely fascinated by it.

authenticWEB’s first experiment in using full-width video was for our own CEO Ian Garlic’s website. In this instance, the video displays brief shots of Ian at work and interacting with others. Video is a perfect medium for a client to get to know a business owner and the team they will be working with. It can often give clear insight into a business’ culture and allow a business to connect more easily with their ideal clients.

Orlando Web Design

At authenticWEB, we focus on telling our client’s authentic stories. We get to know our clients through a unique video discovery process and then we use video as a powerful storytelling component on our websites. We are always happy to create a video intensive website for you or find ways to implement video creatively into your existing site.

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