Tight Line Productions is in the midst of revamping our own website. Recent research during this project revealed an interesting trend that our counterparts across the pond seem to have already embraced, while, “over here,” we’re just catching on.
So what is the web design trend that Europe has adapted in advance of their American counterparts?
In a word,
EU web designers have been early adapters in making the most of HTML5 for a richer and more engaging user experience. Many U.S. based websites are quickly adapting, but in recent explorations across the web, the majority of “the best of the best” of websites using video came from the EU.
The most artistic application of video in web design is the use of large, browser-size background video which instantly creates a mood and atmosphere to the site upon landing. Other examples include product demonstrations, or a video showcasing a collection of items. The advent of inexpensive construction cameras has even made editing time-lapse videos much easier. These cameras are often used to demonstrate a company performing its service, or even before and after videos. When accompanied with the right graphic elements, these videos can bring even the mundane to life.
Customization Creates Authenticity
Web Designers know they have only seconds to captivate and engage viewers. Increasingly, the “go to” methodology is video, which tells the story faster and with more authenticity than mere words.
While a multitude of stock video footage is available for such purposes, wherever possible, custom video is recommended. Smarter audiences recognize stock imagery, and its overuse can become cliche.
Tight Line recently used a client’s vendor-supplied video as a focal point on their website. North Courtenay Repower Center (NCRC) is a reputable sales and service center on Merritt Island for outboard motors. While there wasn’t anything special to celebrate about their physical building, we realized that what they were truly selling was a means to a lifestyle. The homepage video, furnished by Suzuki Marine and Yamaha Outboards respectively, features that lifestyle, and makes the focus of the business the aspiration to get on the water and have fun.
Examples To Inspire
Taking a cue from our friends across the pond, we can also incorporate custom video into the redesign of websites. Let’s face it, most businesses are focused in trenches, therefore, they rely on the creativity and foresight of their advertising agency to place a visual representation of their company front and center. By getting a creative jump on the competition, your website will have a big edge in engagement, reach, brand building and return visits all of which lead to higher conversions (“sales”).
To inspire your entrepreneurial mind as to what is possible, I’ve included some examples to give your visual creativity a boost by checking out some of these “best of the best”:
Brindisa Tapas Kitchens
This London eatery obviously “gets” food. They provide a glimpse into their world that is fun & exciting. The use of time-lapse video even creates the sense that the place is buzzing with activity. You’re likely to want to check out cheap flights to the UK just to eat here!
My Provence Festival
A tour of the region seen through the lens of artists…. set to music. Mais oui!!
This brief video element brings a sense of humor to an otherwise mundane subject. Wait for the yellow glove to appear.
If you’re not in the market to purchase or charter a megayacht, you may very well find yourself wishing that you were after landing on Y.co’s homepage and seeing the “lifestyle” video housed there. The lifestyle sells itself in moving pictures! This clearly demonstrates the power of custom video when applied to showcase the end result.
The Creative Class
This website showcases influential creative types who share their own musings about their industry and the impact that technology is having. Instead of having to drill down to access these videos, this web format places them front and center, with an automatic scroll to the next video, all right on the homepage!
This San Franciso-based company has become the Darling of the travel world recently. The movement in each of the video sliders on the homepage is subtle, making you, “wait for it…”, which creates a very sticky website.
Web background videos work best where user interaction with the site is more important that the site’s functionality.