Once upon a time, as Ui designers, we were obsessed with keeping images small and optimised to aid download speeds. Now many sites deliver full screen video from the off, with no lag whatsoever. This is enabled by advances in technology, specifically widespread high speed connectivity – superfast broadband, virtually ubiquitous wi-fi and 4G – and this technology is driving the web from text and image towards more use of moving image and video. It’s also driving the internet’s transition from an information based media to a more experiential one.
Cisco, one of the biggest global technology companies, predicts that “by 2020, 82% of consumer internet traffic will be video and total global internet traffic will increase at 22% per year, making internet traffic in 2020 95 times greater than it was in 2005.”
As users, we’re already consuming video online, whether it’s on Snapchat, Periscope, Youtube or Facebook and increasingly videos appear within many company websites, so we’re immersed in an experience. This will only increase further with interactive video, augmented reality, and virtual reality. The big internet players have recognised this shift for a long time, as evidenced in Google’s acquisition of Youtube. Facebook has long been prioritising video too, in a recent interview Mark Zuckerberg compared the adoption of video to that of the mobile web “Video is a mega trend, almost as big as mobile.” Chris Dixon, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, sums up the change: “Expect video to get embedded into almost every internet service, similar to how the internet transitioned from text-heavy to image-heavy services last decade.”
Whether it’s a simple ‘talking head’ presentation, instructional video or company promo, video is often more engaging than text and image as it really brings the subject matter to life by delivering a more immersive user experience. As with any content however, there is a heavy emphasis on quality and just as striking images come from good photography and engaging copy needs to be well written, a good video similarly needs to be shot well, with good art direction, careful editing and excellent post-production.
At bd2, we recognise that video will play an increasingly important role in the sites we design and develop, so have made the strategic decision to bring production in-house. We are investing in our own lighting and cameras, with latest 4k kit, so that we can control quality and provide a much more responsive and cost-effective service for our clients. We have used various independent production houses and cameramen in the past, with mixed results, but have often found the process too slow, end-to-end. Our clients want to see – for example, a case study – shot, edited and live within a day or two, not weeks. By bringing video production in-house we can be much more agile by being in control of the whole process, from filming to editing. And we can add further value by ensuring consistency of message, tone and style to align with a client’s overall digital and marketing strategies. Finally, as we’re responsible for adding the video to the site itself, publishing to live is seamless.
Key to success will be the practitioner, after all a pencil is only as good as the artist using it. So we’re delighted to have recruited a senior lecturer who is currently head of media and learning technologies, and has been teaching all aspects of video production for over ten years. David Briscoe has been looking for an opportunity to move into the commercial world and joins bd2 in early December, so we’ll be fully up and running for the start of 2018.