Have you ever wished you could use a remote control to silence a loud talker in a crowded restaurant? How about when surfing the Web and landing on a webpage featuring avideo spokesperson? While having a virtual spokesperson appear on your website offers numerous benefits and adds a personal touch, it also brings with it the potential for annoying some of your site’s visitors.
This is because people have different learning styles and preferences for receiving information. Where one visitor may love being able to see a video spokesperson and hear an oral presentation, another may learn better through reading and find the audio portion distracting. By having an on/off button, you are giving your site’s visitors the option to silence the video spokesperson.
A common categorization of learning styles is known as Fleming’s VARK Model with the following four types of learners:
- Visual preference – these learners prefer seeing information such as through visual aids and pictures
- Auditory preference – these learners prefer listening to information such as through lectures and speeches
- Reading and writing preference – these learners prefer reading and writing information
- Kinesthetic-tactile preference – these learners prefer learning through experience such as through hands-on experiments
Of these learning categories, visual and auditory learners may respond well to a virtual spokesperson on your website. Learners who prefer to learn by reading, will likely want the option to silence the spokesperson as the spoken text could be distracting or annoying to them. By providing an on/off button, you are able to reach most learners in a format that appeals to them without alienating those who don’t respond well to auditory delivery methods.
You may even want to take this one step further by configuring the virtual spokesperson video to play on demand rather than automatically. Why? Having the virtual spokesperson talk “uninvited” could chase off prospects. Rather than looking for the on/off or mute button, some visitors will simply click the button that they’re the most familiar with: the Back button.
While you can’t please all of the people all of the time, you can provide options. If you’re implementing a virtual spokesmodel on your website, speak with your video production company about configuring your virtual spokesperson for on demand playing or at the very least including an on/off button.
If you’re not sure, consider running a test. Keep an eye on the bounce rate for your page for both autoplay and on demand video options. If you see significant numbers of visitors exiting your site right away, it could be because of the autoplay option. Change the video to play on demand and see if you notice an improvement.
What have your experiences been with videos that autoplay? Do you tend to leave a site if sounds start playing without your explicit approval? Or do you find the automatic playback convenient? Share your thoughts below.