HTML and CSS Reference
Problem Solving: Tips for Effective Web Video
Web video is one of the most important mediums for conveying information and advertis-
ing products and services. With inexpensive hardware and sophisticated video editing
software, almost anyone can be a movie producer with free, instant distribution available
through the Web. However, this also means you have a lot of competition to get noticed
and it's essential that your videos be polished and professional. Here are some things to
keep in mind when creating a Web video:
• Keep it short. Studies have shown that Web users have an attention span of about
4 seconds. If they don't receive valuable information within that time, they'll go to a
different site. This means your Web video must get to the point quickly and keep users'
attention. Also recognize that most users will not watch your entire video, so make your
key points early .
• Keep the image simple. Your video probably will be rendered in a tiny frame, so make
your content easier to view by shooting close-ups. Avoid wide-angle shots that will make
your subject even smaller to the user's eye. Avoid complex backgrounds and distracting
• Keep the human element. Eye-tracking studies have shown that people naturally gravi-
tate to human faces for information and emotional content. Use tight shots in which the
narrator speaks directly into the camera.
• Use effective lighting. Light should be projected onto the subject. Avoid relying solely
on overhead lights, which can create distracting facial shadows. Video compression can
result in loss of detail; thus, make sure you use bright lighting on key areas to highlight
and focus users' attention on the important images in your video.
• Follow the rule of thirds. Avoid static layouts by imagining the frame divided into a
3 grid. Balance items of interest along the lines of the intersection in the grid rather
than centered within the frame. If interviewing a subject, leave ample headroom at the
top of the frame.
• Avoid pans and zooms. Excessive panning and zooming can make your Web video appear
choppy and distorted, and unnecessary movement slows down the video stream.
Finally, consider investing in professional Web video services that can storyboard an idea
for you, and that have the experience and expertise to create a finished product that will
capture and keep the attention of users and customers.
Maxine is pleased with the work you've done embedding the video in several different
formats in the Royal Wedding page. In the next session, you'll explore how to work with
program applets by adding a scrolling marquee to Maxine's page.