From: "Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety" <secretary**At_Symbol_Here**DCHAS.ORG>
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Video Usability
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2014 06:10:15 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: 56A4DAD6-2F22-4BD2-BA66-37BE71E1DC6C**At_Symbol_Here**

Video Usability

Summary: Video content is helpful only if users have control over it, understand what's contained within it, and have an alternate way to access it.

Video is everywhere. We're watching it on our laptops, desktops, tablets and phones. Video can entertain and inform us, show us how a fabric flows, how a product works, how to tie a knot, where we can go on vacation, or even demonstrate how to think aloud during a usability study. But this format only works if users know that the video is there, are encouraged to watch it, can successfully view it, and have control over it.

There are two forms of online video:

Entertainment: This type of video uses the Internet as a television network with on-demand functionality. The only interactive element for users is deciding what to watch. Once the user clicks Play, the remaining user experience is equivalent to that of watching a traditional TV show: sit back and enjoy. The main difference are that online video is often (but not always) shorter than the 30-120 minute duration of most network TV slots and that the content can be dramatically more specialized because it's narrowcast instead of broadcast.

Informational: This type of video is a web-content format that's used together with other content - such as text and images - in the context of navigating and interacting with a website (or application). This is true multimedia, where the various media formats supplement - and hopefully reinforce - each other.
In this article, we'll focus on the second, interactive, form of online video since that's the one that raises more interaction design issues.

(article continued at URL above)

Ralph Stuart
Division of Chemical Health and Safety
American Chemical Society

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