The significance of a well-made interactive hub
As with all video content these days, the first impression is vital when it comes to spark an audience’s curiosity.
Interactive video is booming and creating your own interactive project is easier than ever.
Are you a beginner to interactive video? Check out our page on interactive video.
Stitching together various videos, images, and graphics generates content that the viewer (or rather participator) can explore in any way they see fit. But how do you make sure that your posted project generates traffic and engagement?
As with all video content these days, the first impression is vital when it comes to spark an audience’s curiosity. Let’s have a look at how content creators more easily can win their viewers trust by designing a stellar hub drawing them in and encouraging exploration.
What is an interactive hub?
Before we start, we should define what a “hub” is and when and where it is necessary. A hub can most easily be compared to the landing page on a website (only in this case it’s a video). From this “anchor point” the viewer can decide what they want to watch next and when. Often, it is also the place they’ll loop back to after finishing a segment.
Of course, not all interactive videos need a specific hub or meny. The scope of what an interactive video can be is vast, & includes videos that are played in a fairly linear manner.
However, if your project is more on an “ecosystem” where one can jump back and forth and between different sections, a good hub is indeed a necessity for success. So, what goes into making one?
Let’s look at a few key points to make your hubs better.
1. Clear and defined buttons (custom images vs buttons)
Buttons who offer clearly defined directions as well as a pleasing design are bound to draw the eye of the viewer, making them more eager to explore.
When presenting someone with multiple options you want to make sure that those options are clearly defined so that the viewer knows what to expect when they’re taking action. Naturally this plays into the overall structure of the video (more on that later) but the graphical design aspect shouldn’t be neglected. Buttons who offer clearly defined directions as well as a pleasing design are bound to draw the eye of the viewer, making them more eager to explore.
The graphical fidelity can be achieved by having a text description, icon or even a thumbnail grabbed from another part of the video. Either way, putting in the time to make the navigation tools coherent and pleasing is key to make a good first impression on the viewer. This applies even if you’re not creating custom image buttons as the default buttons of the Interactive Manager offer a variety of tools to make your buttons pop.
2. Keep it clutter-free
It’s a good idea not to overload the viewers with a hub that comes across as cluttered. Let’s say part of your interactive project is an interview, having an animated thumbnail for a button provides great context for the viewer, however, putting multiple thumbnails on the same page can make the hub come off as busy.
Instead of pulling the same trick on every button, restrict it to a select few buttons you want to highlight. If there are more interviews or filmed footage, try making those buttons more static or differentiate them in other ways. Maybe create a motion graphic animation instead of having filmed footage.
The bottom line is to diversify the visuals so that navigation becomes easy for the viewer. That also includes not adding too much info at once, i.e., try to narrow down the number of buttons to the essentials.
Should you want to share more info the hub can be used to distribute “sub-hubs” where similar topics can be put on the same page. It all comes down to putting on the UX glasses and creating a thought out narrative you want the viewer to participate in. Speaking of which…
3. Tell a story
Contemplating these things at an early stage exposes potential pitfalls in the design which can then be remedied before the content is produced.
The key to making a great interactive hub is to put thought into the project as a whole. Make sure to have a clear vision of how the end product should operate (what the hub should look like and be conceived of) along with how the interactive flow should run from start to end. Even though interactive video is a non-linear medium, putting thought into the overall narrative is essential to tie the user experience together. When the pieces are in place the layout of the hub becomes more intuitive and a lot easier in the process.
Contemplating these things at an early stage exposes potential pitfalls in the design which can then be remedied before the content is produced. Connecting the dots between the different parts of the video also lends itself to more creative solutions, not to mention that you get an overview of all your video content. Suddenly the needs of the hub become obvious, and you get a better understanding whether or not sub-hubs or other sectioning are needed.
With Qbrick, creating interactive projects is easy and most of what we’ve mentioned in this blog comes naturally during the design process. But it can still be worthwhile to contemplate on the details in order to take your video to the next level. Are you interested in making interactive videos? Do you want to know more about how to design a good hub? Contact us to learn more and have a great rest of your day.
Video editor and content creator
Andreas Bard (Qbrick Production Team) is a video editor and content creator based in Stockholm.