Join Chris Nodder for an in-depth discussion in this video Laying out your page for media, part of User Experience for Web Designers.
- If you think that people will want to immediately watch or listen to the media you provide, it makes most sense to embed it in the page. If you think they're going to want to download it for use later on, for instance, as a podcast, then you should provide it as a link on your site. Each downloadable piece of content should have its own page. When you create a link on your site, you link to that page. The page should have a summary of what the downloadable content is about, the formats it's offered in, and related items like transcripts for video, or other podcasts in the same series. The reason for giving each piece of content its own page, is that this gives visitors a chance to check that they're downloading the right thing before they start, rather than after they open it, which might happen sometime in the future after they've left your site.
Also, having a page for each download gives you a chance to provide a text description of the media. Because search engines can't work out what's in the media items directly, this text description provides a lot more context, and means that your site will rank higher in search results than other similar sites that don't provide the same level of description. When you think that people will be using the media from within your site, display it along with your other content in the same way you would with any other image or graphic. It often makes sense to also provide a link to the same media for download, so that people can easily share it or use it offline.
If you're hosting on a service like YouTube or Vimeo, embedding the video in your site automatically creates a link back to the video on the hosting site, so adding a separate link isn't necessary. It may seem like more hassle to create separate pages for each download, but this will pay off in the future. Search engines are notoriously bad at being able to extract the meaning from videos, podcasts, and sometimes even PDF files. If you create summary pages for each downloadable piece of content, and have good summary descriptions on those pages, then you've made your site much more accessible to search engines, and probably boosted the likelihood that people will come to you for that information.
User experience expert Chris Nodder teaches
- What people want from websites, how they search for information, how they read online, and how to structure your content to take advantage of this research
- How to use graphics to help rather than hinder visitors, how to integrate video, audio, and other media, and when to consider interactive rather than static content
- How to look at your site's homepage, forms, product pages, and content through the eyes of users to build a site that better meets their needs
- How to balance site content with advertising
There are never enough great interfaces in the world. Take this easy introduction to start making wonderful online experiences for your own users.
- Building a site visitors will like
- Using single, consistent, and standard design principles
- Creating good menus
- Working with site maps
- Adding search to a site
- Arranging content in a layout
- Writing for the web
- Creating category pages and landing pages
- Designing product pages and forms
- Using media and interactive content
- Balancing ads and content