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Video backgrounds: a good or bad thing? – part 2

When one thinks about videos as a background to your website, you need to take many things into consideration. Although many people are on DSL, there are many that are still not. The amount of bandwidth that video takes isn’t always welcome by the visitors and the amount of time a website takes to load can also loose some visitors as well. There is also the legal aspect of it. Yes I know you are presenting a video but do you also have the content in text and do you have an alternative to the video? The rights of the handicapped are involved and most countries have laws in place in this respect.  Now that we have looked at the aspect from that side, there is a lot to be said for the presentation of a product that is for sale by using this medium.

The visual is a great way of selling items on the internet and many times people tend to forget to give that visual in visual words as well. Think of it as a fashion parade. Usually at a high class fashion parade there is an announcer who announces the new dress or outfit to the public and then proceeds to describe aspects of the design in voice. This can be done in text as well. Therefore, the visitor who is hard of hearing can read it, and the visitor who is short sighted or sight handicapped will be able to hear it. You have cross referenced your website and covered all bases.

Take a look at Louis Vuitton Journeys. This is an interesting way of presenting a product, but it takes far too long to load. Although it keeps you occupied while it loads with interesting facts about the three footballers, it has the drawback of loading time. The loading times are huge on a slow server. Personally, I loaded a few of the pages and gave up. I liked the idea but not the length of time it kept me waiting.

The next is a fashion label for John Galliano.  This is a very heavy loading website and needs a really modern computer to be able to cope with it. The heavy use of both sound and video literally drains your computer if you are on an older one. Absolutely, no thought seems to have been given to optimization in any shape or form which is a pity as it could have been a good website. People and designers, in particular, need to remember you might have an up to the day computer but the rest of the world doesn’t always. While designing, design for computers that are at least 5 years old. PCs should last a long time, and most people buy maybe one every 5 to 6 years if that. I know some PCs that have been running for 12 years, and they still come online.

Another fashion designer is Valentino. Based in Italy this website uses similar but far less brash techniques. You get asked to view the videos here. This works far better. It is a far better working website over all as far as I was concerned. It loaded fast wasn’t overpowering and didn’t eat resources.


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