Boring Videos are Useless

May 26 0 Comments Category: TechObservations

Almost every tech company with a complex product has a video introduction to it.

Ideally, we’d like to make the product user-friendly enough not to need a video. But unless you can rely on canonical layouts and features (like clicking on links or checking settings for preference options) or a very simple product, it is difficult to inculcate your users with new ways of looking at an interface.

So video to the rescue. It’s important to tell a story. To follow a narrative arc that carries your viewer from one point to another. Otherwise, you lose them in a panoply of gibberish features.

For our product, our video would cover a couple of scenarios for how a couple of users might be interested in using our product. For example, to organize their interests in news, to discover new content, to find relevant content, to search for a particular subject. That’s in order of implementation. For now, we’ll have the first, and then build on what we learn about how to build that to get to the others. For the last one, Google is a hard company to compete with in that space.

But it’s also important not to use video as a substitute for solid user interface design. It shouldn’t be a crutch — users should still be able to suss out most of the features of a product without having to be lectured.

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