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Oct 2017

10 top tips for a great interactive video

Blog posts

Cammy Bean

Cammy Bean

Senior Solutions Consultant at Kineo US

We’re all abuzz these days about interactive video. And for good reason. It is a great way to get learners to sit up straight and pay attention and on top of that, can enhance and improve a traditional eLearning experience, by = breaking up the monotony of clicking next through a series of slides. And it is, well, so much more interactive than a “static” video. No longer a passive viewing experience, learners can now engage directly with a video, accessing additional content right within a video screen. This might include mini-tutorials, questions, challenges or games to test their knowledge.

10 top tips for designing great experiences

  1. Borrow from TV and movies

We aren’t suggesting you just go and copy the latest episode of Game of Thrones (although that would surely get some attention!), but instead imagine how your learning would play out if the content were made for TV or the big screen. What would you do to captivate your audience - would you stick to a lot of talking head videos or would you add a dramatic narrative or guide the learners through an immersive scenario -- what we might call a Guided Story?

  1. Keep it short and sweet and don’t break the flow

    Interactive video can be a great add-on or core design element in an elearning course, but keep it sharp and focused. Don’t set out to create an epic movie that surpasses Gone with the Wind in length. Videos should be kept to three minutes or less, especially if there’s a lot of information to cover and you’re adding layers and additional content on top of the core video, be mindful of the overall user experience and content length.

    Yes, video should be interactive, but take care not to go nuts with too much clicking. I’ve been warning of the dangers of clicky-clicky bling-bling for years. The canvas seems prime for that type of abuse.

    This may seem counterintuitive, but hear us out. Yes, it is a great tool - it’s wonderful for your employees to be able to see a new product, click a hotspot and view a quick pop-up tutorial, but don’t inundate them with tons of clicking and loads of information.

    The more interactions there are within the video, the longer it will take people to get through it. It may also increase the possibility that by the end of the program they’ll have forgotten anything \ they saw at the very beginning. The point is, use video to enhance the learning, not overwhelm or distract people from the key takeaways.

  2. Think game elements

    Interactive video lets you add gamification into the mix with challenges,quizzes, timers, and score tallies. If you’re creating a video about safety standards, show a video clip that contains a few different safety hazards and award points when learners click to identify hazards. Clicking on the hazards can also display  pop-ups that explain why something is, or isn’t, hazardous and let people know what they missed once they’ve finished the challenge.

  3. Film on the phone or GoPro

    Long gone are the days when you need to hire an entire film crew to capture every angle of your video. Today’s smartphones have great cameras that are only getting better. Add in the options of purchasing a relatively inexpensive GoPro or a DSLR camera and you’ve got three very viable, very portable options for filming your content in-house, rather than sourcing it out and spending mega bucks.

  4. Let the video do the talking

    Since you’re taking the time to create a video, you might as well be certain that the video is the main show. If you load up a basic video with tons of hotspots to click for more information your learners might miss some key points. Design your the video so that the main points of learning are kept within the video itself, and use hotspots and other aspects for supplementary info or content that may be likely to change and require updating.

  5. Keep text to a minimum

    While it’s nice to use a text overlay to point out or highlight something important, text will soon start to lose it’s wow factor if it’s all over every scene. Instead, let the video do the talking.

  6. Use all the tricks

    They call it “movie magic” for a reason. Don’t be afraid to use a few special effects, such as split screens or slow motion, to give your audience a more dynamic viewing experience.

  7. Provide subtitles/closed captioning

    Keep in mind that some of your learners may be viewing the content on smartphones or tablets as they take public transportation, or sit on the couch while their family watches TV.. Give them the option to turn on closed captioning and subtitles so that they can still get the most out of your content with the audio off.

  8. Think about phone and tablet viewing

    Consider how your video will look when viewed on a phone or tablet. If the video is filmed with a large overhead shot, for example, will the details be difficult to see on the small screen of a smartphone? Similarly, will hotspots be too small  to push, or too clustered to tap accurately?

  9. Give it a try!

    Are you considering having a play with interactive video? Try it out! In today’s technological landscape nearly everyone has access to a pretty decent camera on their smartphone. If there’s something interesting happening in your workspace, such as a new project launching or a new technique being taught to some employees on a one-on-one basis, why not film it for possible inclusion in your next learning program? More and more tools are available for adding interactive layers over your video. Head into it with an open mind and be willing to experiment!

For more great information on how to create a stellar interactive video experience for your learners, check out our guide Lights, Camera, Interaction.

Cammy Bean

Cammy Bean

Senior Solutions Consultant at Kineo US

Cammy has been collaborating with organizations to design online learning programs since 1996. An active speaker and blogger, Cammy gets fired up about instructional design, avoiding the trap of clicky-clicky bling-bling, and ways to use technology to create real behavior change.

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