Over two years ago, I wrote about the role of video player technology in an eLearning Industry article. In the piece—re-posted here—I talked about the needs of marketing folks and trainer/educators. Their video viewing requirements are radically different, which means that player functionality is really important.
I also talked about the realities of a post-Flash Web environment. As training (and all other online activities) shift to mobile, the need to shift to HTML5 and responsive Web pages is top priority.
That’s why I’m in a celebrating mood. The latest version of Viddler’s HTML5 player was released last week, and it’s all good news for online trainers and other video users. It retains all the functionality that trainers need to enhance their video experience. But it also makes that experience a better one on any screen—even the smallest smartphone.
Here’s what I mean:
The challenge was to keep the controls visible—and fully functional—while keeping them from obscuring the actual video. On smaller screens, that used to be a problem. Now, the colored bars at the top and bottom of the screen are gone, while the control tools themselves remain. (Even those disappear after a few seconds of viewing, and magically reappear if the screen is clicked or tapped.)
Why So Many Buttons?
Now that the player is so much clearer, the natural question is to ask why one needs all these controls at all. The answer to that is another question: What are you using the video for? If the goal is just to passively watch the video, no controls are needed at all! (That’s perfectly possible with our player.) But if you need to control video playback behavior—like speed or closed caption language selection—then the controls along the bottom of the screen are important, and can be included individually.
For training use cases, the tools along the top of the screen are more important. These include, in-video chapters, timeline commenting, and personal bookmarks. These controls govern the video’s interactivity, a critical feature for using videos as training resources, rather than passive viewing experiences.
The good news is that these control tools—and others not shown above—can be added as needed. Training providers using Viddler have a full range of available tools to make their video content more effective. Video players intended mainly for passive viewing are simply not as good.
The Viddler ecosystem is far more than the player, of course. But the player is your clients’ window into your interactive learning experience.
Your windows have just been upgraded.