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Designing the user interface: text, colour, images, moving images and sound
Designing the user interface: text, colour, images, moving images and sound

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5.3 Using video clips to good effect

You can use video clips in many of the situations where you could use animation. However, video has the following additional uses.

  • To convey human behaviour and emotions. For example, a training package teaching customer care for a bank may show a clip of an angry customer coming into a bank. Being able to see his facial expressions and body language would provide a lot of additional information.

  • To show events that users cannot see directly. For example, video could be used to show the inside of a nuclear reactor or a recent historical event.

  • To motivate. For example, seeing a clip of the users of your software struggling with the UI should motivate you to improve it!

  • To provide additional contextual information. Animations tend to focus upon the particular sequence of events, whereas video usually also provides information about the location, the clothes people are wearing, and so on. This makes it essential to update video regularly, or the age of the package soon becomes apparent to users.

Over the next few years, as technology continues to develop, it is likely that the use of video clips will increase. They have already been used extensively in computer-based training and multimedia educational packages.