Automatic video playing on websites should stop.

Op-ed Tech

In web design, automatically playing audio was deemed to be an annoyance that should be stopped. Most websites did so. I think videos playing automatically are part of a push to get more revenue instead of an artistic attempt to create atmosphere, which makes it even worse to me. At least when music was played, it could be played off as if someone was in a store and music was playing in the background. Even as I type, and sometimes when I read, I play music.

This is the song I was listening to when typing that last paragraph, and part of this sentence.

When I find videos on some news websites I go to, they are distracting and I have to take extra time to close them before I can go back to the article. That creates a bad user experience. It’s interesting that already, history is repeating itself in a way with bad web design. Right now, and this website is straight up guilty of some of this, but websites have a lot of images and things going on kind of like how Shinjuku station is with its lights in some areas but in website form.

I think a new trend will be towards more simplistic web design for news websites and blogs, but I haven’t figured out a way yet how to implement that without the website looking amateurish. I was considering doing a text only version of the website as a sort of rebellion against the web design that has videos playing, a bunch of images, things popping up (at least I don’t have pop-ups as of writing), etc. For example, I just went to a news website as an example, and a video played automatically, then when I scrolled down the video took up maybe 1/6 of the space allocated to the article on my screen. One of the advertisements changed within, to me, a pretty short timespan which was also distracting. Then afterwards when I went to another window and came back, a pop-up asking for a newsletter sign up came up. Here are screenshots, with some of the article text erased out.

Hopefully the practice of videos playing automatically on websites is a fad that ends soon.

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