Storytelling Inspiration

5 Fresh Ideas to Use Video in Digital Experiences

Stafford McKay By Stafford McKay July 15, 2014

In the olden days of Flash, integrated video meant high load times and device compatibility nightmares. Now things have changed for the better. The era of HTML5 empowers designers with new ways to add video to digital content.

Since videos no longer slow down performance as much as before, designers can now afford to also utilize them as accessories rather than just the focal point of content.

Here are five ways video can enhance a design:

1) In the Background

Putting large images or videos in the background of digital experiences has become a major trend. The right kind of video can serve as a powerful backdrop.

Belstaff brilliantly uses old British racecar footage on the cover of a lookbook featuring Goodwood Sports and Racing. The black and white video is just enough to please the user, but not a major distraction. By opting for a lower opacity, the foreground text and call to action (Explore the Collection) still sticks out.


2) As Animated Text

For content heavy pieces, animating typing text can help the reader feel connected with the content they are consuming. If the video showing text output is playful and mimics the way people actually interface with their keyboards, all the better. A couple of years ago, Google Docs made a clever video featuring the characters of 30Rock.


Since then, the idea has taken off and we’ve seen it in a number of campaigns. It is used well on the first page of “How to Build a Brand Newsroom”, an ebook written by Contently. The user makes a typo and immediately s/he deletes and makes a correction. This isn’t a central event on the page, but for those who catch it, it’s a delightful surprise.


3) In Long Form Content

Long form is another hot format at the moment. As nice as it is to scroll down a seemingly endless piece of content, the millennial attention span requires change.

Integrating video into long form content is a great way to keep readers captivated and break things up a bit. Chloe+Isabel created a colorful lookbook recently with a well placed video message from their creative team in the middle.


4) As a Header

Similar to using video in the background is the idea of placing a video in the header of a piece of content. A beautiful time lapse of Monte Carlo sits on the top of this page in the Tennis Tuesday digital magazine.


Note how simply the elegant footage enhances the magazine page. It is not necessary to watch the entire time lapse, but it is delightful to the eye.

5) As Cards

Pinterest is all about breaking digital content down into cards. The trend has since taken off to the extent that some say it is the future of the web. The card format can – and should – include embedded video.



Video is a great way to make your content more immersive and interactive.  Try approaching video in a new way that augments your other content. Start by positioning video in the background and adjusting opacity. Pick a video that loops seamlessly and isn’t too large. Good luck!

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