Discussing the Right User Interface for Video Streaming Websites

Video streaming has become quite popular these days. With the availability of devices like the iPad, tablets, smartphones etc. watching videos on the move has become a trend. Unlike feature-phones, the screen size of smartphones, iPads or tablets is larger, people can watch movies comfortably…High speed wireless internet is not a supernatural thing any more. The setting is perfect to make online video streaming a big hit.

To make it even bigger, designers have come up with attractive presentation strategies. Many startups have started their own products around video streaming. Each of them have unique and attractive interfaces.

No one can ignore the contribution of YouTube to make online videos so popular. With time many other video streaming services came into the picture and observed a high acceptance rate as well.

Let’s discuss some of the components used by the video streaming websites to make it usable. This will help you to make a video streaming website perfect in terms of usability. Once you know about the best practices, you can easily create one for yourself or for your clients.

Developing a good user experience

When users land on your website, how easily can they find what they are looking for? Do they face any difficulty? How much time passes before they take action? Therefore, the way you present information, the way you arrange the links, the menu, the way you show the call to action are what defines the user experience. Things like quality of display, resolution, volume of the sound player are a few things that might be major factors when it comes to the usability of a video streaming website.

Analyzing Popular Video Sharing Sites

Let’s review the user interface of some of the popular video streaming websites. Vimeo is one of the popular video streaming websites we have out there; most of the video creators usually upload their work on vimeo without any miss. Everything is so flexible; moreover they provide a great support for Flash and HTML5. You can easily embed, work and perform quality control of your video content.

Resolution size is very large on single video pages; it occupies major part of the screen. However, registered users can change the setting and adjust it according to their preferences. This feature is available on YouTube and Dailymotion as well.

If you notice the default buttons available on vimeo, you will realize that they are much larger in size, hence easy to work with. This makes the platform more user-friendly. Such small things actually make big differences and most of the designers ignore them.

Let’s take a closer look at the sidebar buttons

Think of any video player; all of them have the useful buttons placed in a toolbar and positioned at the bottom usually. All the essential buttons such as play, pause, stop, forward, rewind, record etc. are found there. The tracking bar is also integrated with the buttons together.

But do you think that these are the only buttons? Some other useful buttons or links such as Playlist, Favorites, Albums, File Open etc will be helpful too. What if a player places those in the sidebar? Romanian video sharing platform 220.ro does the same thing. The website is very similar to YouTube. It has a side bar panel where you will find the Favorite, Embed options and many more. As a user hovers over the buttons, further navigation options appear. Registered users can save any video URL, playlist and share videos with specific groups. This is a great example of a video sharing platform with high usability and networking features.

Soothing to your eyes

The interface should give comfort to your eyes; otherwise you will not be able to stick to it for long. YouTube, once tested a feature through which you could dim the background components. This is something many people would prefer, however, the feature was not followed up on or introduced.

Dailymotion, however, has a similar functionality. This looks like a very small feature; however, such small things actually make big differences and finally leads to a great user experience.

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