This video serves as a video header on this website. It is a synopsis of what I do as a designer and creative writer.
Using Video Headers On Your Website
Video or image headers are good attractions on your website. If used effectively, it can engage your site’s visitors for a longer time on your site. You can use a single image, a slide of images, or a video. Whichever media you use, it must be able to trigger an interest from your viewer.
Video or image headers are commonly used on landing pages, which may be the home page of your website or special pages you use to promote your products or services.
There are simple ways to capture an audience’s interest.
- Motion such as a slider or a video
- Captivating images, or images with a story or emotion
- Stories or message
For the one I’m using on this website, I used a video of images. I picked images that “tell a story” and enkindle an emotion. For the music, I used soft, low-volume ambient music. This is not to startle your viewers ears especially if they are listening with headphones.
Your image or video header must be able to tell something to your visitors, such as a story. For example, in my video, its storyboard is something about the process of what I do as a designer and writer.
- “Everything begins with an idea.” Whether in design or writing, it all starts with an idea. You cannot move further without it.
- “Imagine. Design.” Idea creation goes with imagining or visualising. In your mind, you picture what you want to design or write. Design requires serious imagination.
- “Think. Plan.” Once you already have an idea, you ponder on it and allow to incubate it in your mind. You gather more thoughts then you start to plan on how you to go about it. Planning is an essential tool to puts you on the right track. It requires serious thinking.
- “Build. Explore.” It is on this stage that you start designing, doodling with your pen on your paper, making sketches, and exploring more ideas. You usually don’t settle with one idea or design. You eventually will have to explore more.
- “Write. Share.” You write what you have just created and you share them to the world. This is where blogging and social media come in.
- “Impress. Express.” Impress to express. When someone appreciates what you have designed or written, there is no doubt that you would feel good. People’s appreciation are your psychological rewards. Therefore, to impress them, your design must be good; what you have written must be worth reading. Likewise, your designs and stories must be able to express their true purpose, meaning or message.
- “Talk. Listen.” Simply put, communicate. Your skill is not just about talking well. You must also know how to listen. In social sites, you interact with your audience. Listening is more important than talking because you have to learn the pulse of your viewers or followers, or target market.
- “Learn. Inspire.” Knowledge is a continuous learning. Studying does not end today. Enhance your skills with further education. You don’t need to attend a formal school unless it is necessary. You have the skill to learn by yourself. As a form of gratitude for the knowledge that you have earned, it is your responsibility to share your knowledge. Inspire others. Remember the Parable of the Talents. Share what you have.
- “A Different Perspective.” Designing and writing are not easy tasks. Being just one of the many puts you in the last line. Designing and writing uniquely, or having your own style is a feat that is hard to achieve. In my own little way, my notion of having a different perspective is more like a character rather than a design or writing skill. Whenever I could, I looked at a different perspective aside from what a common mind sees. It is for this reason, why I chose an image of a lighthouse because a lighthouse looks at different angles and points of view.
What Stories The Images Tell
- Clear sky. Almost empty. An idea starts from emptiness.
- Complicated staircase. Can you imagine how brilliant the mind of this designer?
- The photographer. Before he captures a scene, he thinks, he plans.
- Wooden path on a lake. This is symbolism of building something and exploring.
- Laptop, notebook, and pen. This is straightforward. The photographic filter, however, adds a mood to the photograph.
- A tranquil lake. Look how simple this photograph is, yet its simplicity and mood makes it impressive and expressive.
- Father and infant. Silence is a means of communication.
- A young man in metropolis. You can picture this in many ways such as job hunting, going to school to study or teach, or going to work.
- Lighthouse. A lighthouse is a watch tower that guards the ocean 360 degrees – a symbol of different points of view.
WordPress theme Twenty-Seventeen comes with a feature, called video header, that plays a video on the front page of your website. By default, the video loops. To other users, this can be annoying. The video auto-plays. It gives no option to users whether they want to watch the video or not. Music add user experience, unfortunately, the sound of the video is muted. So far, there are no options to disable the auto-play, or to loop the video just once. Perhaps, in the future, a plugin would be available to control how the video is played on WordPress theme Twenty-Seventeen.
What if the browser cannot play the video for some reasons? The fallback is to set image headers.