Stop Autoplaying Videos.

A while back, I was doing some consulting for a relatively large website build. The person responsible for managing the rebuild (which was through a different company) wasn’t really a website person. They were a very smart individual who knew what their company needed and why.

When they sent me their first look of the live site, my first response was “why is my internet yelling at  me?”

The site, a few seconds after it loaded was playing VERY LOUD audio and showing me a video that I didn’t really want to see or listen to. And it blows me away that years after we all agreed that nobody wants your audio and video to instantly play, we’re still doing this.

I’ll admit, I once put autoplaying audio on a site.

I built a hockey website for a friend and I had it automatically play The Hockey Song by Stompin’ Tom. BUT, I knew that we were going to take it down. I put it up for a lark. And it came down quick.

But people are still doing this.

Why?

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about automated DMs. And people read it and said “yes, we all agree, automation is bad.”

Now, here’s the thing.

Automation isn’t bad.

Automatically doing things isn’t bad.

If the automation is designed to provide a service or designed to serve the needs of the user, that’s great.

But how often is that the case?

Rarely.

Usually automatic video or audio is “I WANT YOU TO HEAR SOMETHING OR SEE SOMETHING AND I DON’T GIVE A SHIT WHAT YOU’RE DOING. NOW YOU’RE DOING THIS.”

If I’m listening to a podcast or some music and surfing and all the sudden my song is gone and your bullshit is in my ears… I’m displeased.

Stop autoplaying videos.

Give me a button.

If I want to play your video, I will.

If I want to play your audio, I will.

But you’d better come up with something better than yelling at me.

Autoplaying content is like shouting at me out of a moving car. I might hear some noise but your message is NOT going to get to me.

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