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What is the optimum length for an online video production?

Posted by | video production, website | No Comments

Its one thing to utilize video by communicating your product/business online, however keeping your viewer engaged with the entirety of your production and message is a whole other ball game.

Recent studies show that you have a matter of seconds to impress. 30-second video clips are viewed by 85% of people all the way through while the completion rate is only 50% for videos that were between 2 to 10 minutes in length.

So what does this mean for those communicating with video online? For many it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to squash your 2 minute video into 30 seconds. Personally for a product i want to learn about via video i need more than 30 seconds to understand things. It does mean that how you craft those first 30 seconds may be crucial to keeping the majority of your viewing demographic and maximizing response to the piece.

So make your first seconds count!

Stay tuned to the phydcreative blog for tips on how to make the most of your first seconds with video online.

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Imitating Artefacts in a Digital Age – Part One

Posted by | Blog, design, Gadgets, IT, website | No Comments

I was listening to a podcast the other day with my iPhone’s new ‘Podcast’ app when stumbled upon a little nostalgic gem. When you select the podcast episode you want to listen to, you’re able ‘flick up’ the episode image to reveal a retro tape deck player with animated spin and record tape that finally unwinds when it gets to the end of the podcast episode. As much as I enjoyed my trip down memory lane of where I reminisced on the rotating cassette wheels of my Sony WalkMan, as a designer I had to question this features purpose and relevance. Questions that began to arise were, “would anyone born after the late 90’s relate to this in the same way I did and did this bring any intended purpose to the apps functionality?” It got me thinking more and more on user interface design and user experience and as I began to dig deeper I found there is a war raging behind the scenes of interface design and at the centre of the battle is it’s catalyst – ‘skeuomorphism.’

 

Skeuo-apps, Podcasts and Reminders on Apple’s iOS

 

The Oxford Dictionary defines a skeuomoph as, ‘an object or feature which imitates the design of a similar artefact in another material.’ Applied to today’s digital age this can be seen in any digital application or site that makes use of the aesthetics and/or functionality of an object that currently exists. Think of any ‘button’ you ever clicked on a website, it’s digital form and function was directly derived, inspired and replicated by buttons in our physical world.

The skeuomorphism battle has some pretty interesting arguments coming from both the pro and con camps. Those all for skeuomorphism see it as a tool that directly aids in the user’s experience. They see a direct advantage of utilising recollection as a tool for simple and effective usability. As an example let’s take a look at the modern day digital SLR camera. It’s basic shape and form is almost unchanged from its predecessor for over 60 years. It’s as if the design itself is timeless; a person of any age can instantly recognise the form and shape of the object as a camera and instantly know how to use it so why reinvent the wheel? It’s as simple as ‘point and click.’ This deep-seeded recollection in users is being utilised by many websites and apps in the marketplace today and at the forefront of this is much of Apple’s app user interface design. Check out some of their recent apps such as Find-my-Friends, iCal, Reminders and Compass.

Where some see this recognition in objects and materials as a positive, there are others that question it’s relevance when it comes to moving forward in today’s digital age. Lets again take a look at the modern day SLR camera; why does the camera need to be that shape as there is no longer a need to install a roll of film? Is it the most efficient and economical way to construct the physical makeup of the camera? Could money be saved in another form of design? Could the photographer be better off with holding the camera and taking the shot with one hand as opposed to the traditional two? Put simply, is resting on tried and tested form and function going to allow us to innovate a better design?

 

Minolta SLR Camera, released circa 1960

 

Canon 5D Mark III, release 2012

 

To move forward in the innovation a more efficient and productive user experience, should we completely omit skeuomorphism? I think that there is more to it than just omission as well as just an obvious digital replication of a physical object. The answer I feel lies at the heart of the intention. What is it you’re developing, and why?

If you are planning on developing or are currently in the process of developing a website or an app there are a few things to consider about your design and how you intend your users to interact with it. Is your target audience getting the most out of what you’re putting in front of them? Most importantly, are you getting the most out of your target audience? Over the next few weeks I plan to breakdown, show and discuss more examples of websites and apps that are clearly on one or both sides of this user interface battle. In the meantime, if you have a question about your website or app design needs we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line, and we’ll make an appointment to come in and chat with us.

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Coke + 007 + creativity = viral marketing

Posted by | brand, video production | No Comments

The James Bond Skyfall release is just around the corner & Coca-Cola Zero have obviously jumped on the 007 band-wagon to produce the viral video “Unlock the 007 in you. You have 70 seconds.” The video went live just 3 days ago and has already hit over 2 million views on YouTube.

Broken down ‘Unlock the 007 in you’ shows everyday commuters buying a drink of coke zero from a vending machine in a London train station. They are then given the chance to win tickets to the premiere by racing to the next platform Bond style in under 70 seconds.

So what is it that has caused this video to go viral? We believe it lies in the idea and execution.

Bond the movie is all about anticipation, rush and thrill. ‘Unlock the 007 in you’ has built that same 007 action & suspense, but this time its the everyday person just like you or me that has become the action hero. The “what-if i could be like James Bond” scenario you always dreamed of has become a reality for these commuters & our eyes are glued to the screen as we relate to this action unfolding!

But its not just the brilliance of the idea, its the execution of the concept that has made this masterpiece what it is! The video is filmed with multiple angles to draw you in to the action as the commuters duck and weave through a range of comical train station road blocks to get to the platform in time. The familiar Bond soundtrack sets the mood of the video composed with what would seem like undercover spy/musicians weaving through everyday modern tones & sounds to give the video an edge.

By the end you are truly stuck with the bond opening theme in your head and thirsty for a coke zero while you await the launch of Skyfall in November!

 

 

 

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Why you need a responsive website

Posted by | Blog, design, IT, website | No Comments

With the internet readily advancing and morrphing there are a lot of terms these days that a lot of people, including our clients are finding hard to keep up with and ‘Responsive Website’ is one of those terms.

What is a responsive website you ask? A responsive site “progressively enhances… work within different viewing contexts [1]” meaning that a website is able to be as effectively utilised for its intent on a multitude of different devices accessing a web browser. Think about it, how easily does an online store allow you to hit the ‘buy’ button?

The marketplace today is flooded with a plethora of inexpensive media devices as each year a new tablet is released, smartphone birthed and laptop reinvented. With content at our finger tips, we are becoming more and more mobile each day and growing even more accepting of it.

Facebook ‘like’, ‘Tweet’ this and ‘Google’ that are phrases becoming so common that most of the terms can now be found in the Oxford Dictionary. It’s clearly established that society is readily accessing information at a phenomenal rate, but what you might find interesting is how we’re accessing it. For with this knowledge, we are able to determine how to best reach your target audience.

The 2012 Australian Mobile Phone Lifestyle Index [2] compiled by AIMIA reports that 76% of its respondents owned and used a smartphone which was a massive 9% increase from last years respondents. What’s more interesting is how this 76% of smartphone users actually used their devices:

Other than making voice calls and texting;

– Send and receive emails – 25%

– To get information – 21%

– For entertainment – 15%

– To visit websites, and/or search or browse the internet – 20%

– For banking, including transfers and bill payments – 19%

– To buy things online – 16%.

What is important to note in the statistics above, is that smartphone owners are using their phones to browse the web when you combine getting information, entertainment, browsing, banking and buying. With figures like these it is imperative that your website is structured with intent and and purposely. Gone are the days where a 960 website grid is applicable for optimal web viewing. If you own or manage a website you need to ensure that the content your users are digesting is readily and easily accessible.

Responsive websites shouldn’t be an add-on or extension to your website, they should be apart of your sites design and intention. Ask yourself, “how easy accessible is the important information on your site?” Do users need to pinch and resize your website when vieing it on their new iPhone 5, or is your contact now button a simple click away from them making their point of contact with you? If your answer is the first of the two we’d love to sit down and find a responsive and mobile website solution for you today.

1. http://www.alistapart.com/articles/responsive-web-design/

2. http://www.aimia.com.au/ampli

 

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Why video is important online.

Posted by | Blog, News, Uncategorized, video production | No Comments

I cant count the number of times we have clients asking us to help them to clearly communicate what their product/service/brand is and how it can help me in an online environment. In my own personal online experience its getting to a point now that if there isn’t a readily accessible video on your home page with this information I’m going to give up on it and move right along.

So why is video important online? With continual implementation of internet infrastructure in Australia and the introduction of 4g LTE networks we are set to see communication using online video increase via mobile devices. Chances are you are reading this blog right now on your smartphone! According to Google & Ipsos OTX 48% of smartphone users watch videos on their smartphone. And most importantly 88% take action as a result, such as making a purchase or contacting the business! That’s 1 in 2 people watching your video and a 90% chance they will respond!

In todays online environment you have a very short window of time to pitch your message, and it’s proven that online video buys more time to engage & communicate this message. The facts show Australians spent an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes per month watching any online video (not just television broadcast related content) in Q1 2012, up from 2 hours and 7 minutes in Q1 2011.

According to socialmediatoday a Bright Roll survey found that 65% of marketers plan to reallocate campaign spending from TV to online video this year. More than 25% see online and mobile video as the two platforms that will have the overall largest spend increases in the next two years.

The question is are you on the front foot in communicating online or getting left behind?Maybe its time to communicate your message with an online video? We’d love to help!

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