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Choose Your Path: Tips for Creating an Interactive Video

Lior Benderski
Updated March 31 2020
Lior Benderski
Updated March 31 2020

Interactive Video plays an increasing role in training, learning, and development for both enterprises and educational institutes. With 82% of employees saying interactive videos hold their attention better, and 92% of educational professionals who recognize the important role interactive video plays in self-paced curriculums and personalized learning – there’s no doubt that interactivity is becoming key when seeking to create an engaging lean-forward learning experience.

 

Kaltura Interactive Video Paths allows you to build choice-based paths into your videos – inviting your viewers for a fun and engaging experience in which they can “choose their own adventure”. How can you create an engaging interactive video path? We’ve gathered our leading experts who shared some helpful tips and tricks you can use when creating your next interactive video.

Planning

The first step is understanding that an Interactive Video is different than a regular video, as it is not viewed in a linear way. In a choice-based interactive video path, your viewers play an active role in the video and are able to navigate through the video, creating their own experience based on their preferences. So, in order to create a successful interactive video, planning is key.

 

Here are some tips to help you plan your interactive video:

  • Use the editor as a planning tool – Create several empty nodes and explore the different alternatives for the connections and paths. This will help you understand the various destinations and routes your viewers can take and determine the desired storyboard for your project.
  • Keep it simple – To avoid viewer confusion, and in order to optimize the transition between videos – try to limit the number of nodes connected to each video. We recommend connecting no more than 5 nodes to each video.

Content Creation

How you build your Interactive video and what content you create can make a big difference in your audience’s experience and engagement. Here are a few tips and tricks we gathered to support you when creating content for your interactive video:

 

  • Keep your content short – Each node should be no longer than 60 seconds. Otherwise, you risk losing your viewers’ attention and they will not proceed within the interactive video.
  • The 30 second rule – For a lean-forward engaging experience, make sure the first node in your interactive video includes an interaction or hotspot in the first 30 seconds(!) of the video. This will help increase user engagement, keeping your viewers interested in what is coming next.
  • If it’s important, make it visible – Always have your important content appear BEFORE the interaction button appears. Once the button appears and is clickable, you may lose your viewer to the next video.
  • What’s on the menu? Create a video menu to help your viewers navigate through the video. This way, even if they get lost – they can always return to the main menu.
  • Keep it going – After the interaction buttons appear, it is recommended to have a subtle movement in the background to keep the video alive. Add a few gestures or a slight movement, just to keep it fun and engaging – but nothing too bold that might distract the viewer from making their selection.
  • Auto direct – You can create nodes that viewers are directed to automatically if you want to make sure they are viewed.
  • Your time is up –  To boost engagement and prompt progress – consider adding a timer that shows the viewer how much time is left.
  • Smooth transitions – To create a seamless transition between nodes and to avoid jump-cuts that will impact the flow of the video, try changing the angle or frame between videos. One way to do this, is by planning to match your scene transitions with the node transitions.
  • Optimize loading time – For a seamless loading experience, allow for at least 10 seconds before the button appears on the video. This will ensure the player has enough time to load the next set of videos and is especially important in case the video is pointing to a few other nodes.
  • First in-first out – If you think that one particular node is more likely to be chosen than others, you can have it show up a bit earlier than others. The player performs a pre-caching of the next videos based on their time of appearance on the timeline. You can use the timeline appearance to manage the priority of the pre-caching order. Even a few milliseconds can count, if you do not wish to make a real difference. In case the snap tool is active, you can simply disable it to make that little change of order.

 

So, what are you waiting for? Now that you’re practically an expert, it’s time to put words into action and create your own interactive video path project. If you’re still looking for some more inspiration, see how leading organizations are using interactive video to enhance their learning experience.

 

Looking for a way to create a lean-forward interactive experience?

Explore Kaltura Interactive Video Paths