Why Your Web Designer Is Foolish About Video

published on: December 7th 2019

How many times have we heard "Don't use that video header. It's too large for mobile. 70% of the world's population are still on 2G...." or "you better check www.caniuse.com some people are still using IE2..."? The CSS and accessibility police consistently ask us to stifle technological progress by guilting us into accepting poor browser choice, poor mobile service, and the Third World's flip phone usage as equivalent to the accessibility issues facing people with actual disabilities. Well, they're not. Stop buying into that foolishness.

We are asked to add content to accommodate our friends and neighbors with disabilities. So, we use things attributes the alt and aria-label without holding back on the use of innovative features for our clients. It only takes a few more key strokes and everyone is happy. That is moral, kind , and is the right business decision on behalf of our clients. It is a win-win for all. We give our clients the best product possible for their hard earned money.

For the other 'Accessibility' problem, we are told to pejoratively dismiss and omit great features like massive video and nifty new CSS properties. Purposefully denying our clients the best product we can give them. Why? To benefit those that choose to use IE as a browser? That live in sub-Saharan Africa? or because it may take 4 more seconds for a person with an outdated phone to load a video? Frankly, we think everyone of those reasons is bullocks and an unethical reason to deliver a sub-par product to your clients.

Have you ever made that choice? The willful omission of a feature based on this bogus accessibility narrative from the CSS nags? Did you consult those paying you? Or is it just your practice to make business decisions for another based on your sensibilities or moral compass? Have you ever hid this forced business decision behind the lie "We build sites that are accessible to all" knowing full well that the client believes that to be for disabled users and will willingly agree? Shame on you if you have. You are misguided and doing a huge DISSERVICE to your clients.

See, we are told by the CSS accessibility hounds that it is bad business for our clients to use massive video on their sites. To accept a sub-par site because of these elusive hordes of people that will be unable to use the website. The horror. Truth is that there are billions of people streaming 2 hour long Netflix movies, watching endless hours of YouTube live-streams, and downloading massive sized websites and apps from Facebook and the like - on their phones. Yet we are to believe that a 30 second video of the chef at "Mamma D'loni pizzeria" is too much? Sure. Okay. You can buy that and build outdated garbage. We see the freight train coming - technology - and it ain't slowing for everyone, sorry it can't.

Are you going to hop on board? Or leave your agency and clients behind enjoying dust. At this very moment some of you are building a site for a client, charging them thousands, and using that bogus accessibility nonsense as a factor in your design and development choices. You are not thinking ahead. That site will be a dinosaur this time next year. There is a big problem staring you in the face:

This is the prevailing wisdom: by 2021 80% of all content viewed on the internet will be video. The roll out of 5G and consumer preference makes this inevitable. Not only will you still not be using that cool new unsupported CSS attribute - that attribute will be a relic before you had the brains to do so. We consistently scream from the roof-top "learn After Effects, learn Premiere Pro" because CSS and shoddy HTML attributes are going bye bye. Are you going to be coding out Keyframe animations for "Mamma D'loni Pizzeria" website while the agency across town is killing it with After Effects enhanced video or live-streams from their clients? Can you imagine being afraid to use an innovative CSS property today and trying to compete with an agency that is unapologetic about live-streaming sales events for their clients - in just a year from now? You are toast. Your Agency is toast. Those clients you are taking money from and short changing today are going to leave you in droves. Thank you for the business in advance.