Monday, December 27, 2010

VS READER FEEDBACK: No more auto play for our videos

As I posted last week, we have switched video platforms on nhregister.com. And when we asked for feedback on this new platform - we learned that a common practice of ours for a while now has been ticking off readers. Ticking them off so much that some have stopped clicking on stories with (video) marked in the headline. Ouch.

Admittedly, I'm angry at myself for not realizing how invasive it can be to the reader's experience to call up a story and have a video (preceded by an advertisement) interrupt it. We should have had this conversation long before we switched video players. A video can be a great contextual addition to a story, but it is something that should provide extra depth or color at choice, not force. It should be an opportunity for reader engagement, so we're finally listening, and finally making it so. The rest of the internet is like this, so there's no reason for us to fight it.

So from now on, we are embedding our videos into stories with the auto play feature turned OFF. This means, you have to push play on a video to watch it when coming across one in a story. You know, like this:



The only place on our website where this won't ring true is on our video page, www.nhregister.com/video. Because, let's face it; if you're going to that page, you're probably planning on watching a video.

It's just a small step towards improving the reader's experience here at nhregister.com, but a step in the right direction nonetheless, right? It's a direction we will work hard in 2011 to continue moving in.

If you have other suggestions for how we handle video or our new video player, please leave a comment or email me at cmarch@nhregister.com. There are certainly more changes to come and efficiencies to be made as we go forward.

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