Homepage Design: Video or Text?
It is a quite old story since last time I posted article introducing screen recorder for web designers to remake their homepages with screencast videos. For a long period time, many people sent email and told me their thoughts about homepage design. In that case, it is necessary to discuss it again. To make our topic fair-and-square, I'd like to divide the topic into two parts.
Part 1 It's better to have a video
It is mentioned that if you have video which can do a quick and smooth review of your product or Website, it couldn't be better. According to the research among net citizens, the arrange time people spend on one website for the first time visit is about 10 seconds. And more people like to watching presentations instead of reading texts. A decent introduction video can do a good job to grasp visitors' attentions in these 10 seconds.
If video adds something to your explanation like how fast your product runs, or offers useful solutions that your product can easily handle customers' problems, it adds a bonus score to visitors while browsing your site.
If video actually assists in the sales process then it's worthwhile. On the other hand, you will spend more time and costs to create an awesome video, otherwise, a poor video is worse than none at all.
Besides making a video and put it on homepage, you have more reasons to record screencast videos for the tutorial or presentation page. If people have interests on your site and want to take a further shot at or as if they are regular customers who need help while using your product.
- Keep your video within 3 minutes.
- It will be much impressive to have a voice-over video.
- If you make an HD video which is big in file size, try to use YouTube sharing instead of uploading the video to your host.
- A Flash introduction video will be smaller and more interactive. You can make it with DemoCreator even without Flash programming skill.
Part 2 I prefer using text
If you can explain your product more easily with few sentences or one screenshot, then doing an introduction video might be overkill.
Another situation is, the video takes up too many rooms of your homepage, leaving no place to put more stuff into. Then you need to make a choice between the page style and performance, which is always a tough job.
Millions of people stare at videos for hours on Youtube, it's true. However, your site doesn't cover good fortune all the time. The bottom line is, the audiences have to sit there waiting for linear video to load before they can watch it. The Flash demo can reduce the loading time in a way, and you need to choose the proper screencast tool to make it.
If you are ready to make a 2~3 min video for your front page and get a good screen recorder / video editor in hand, give a chance to try. Also, doing A/B tests for different homepage design be effective although it could be expensive. And the key point is, whether you are using texts, image or video to make up the homepage, just don't rely on it.