Random Video Backgrounds
I don't know how early Paypal adopted the video-as-banner-background trend in comparision with other websites. It was one of the earliest places that I personally saw this design pattern appear. I have mixed feelings on using videos in that fashion. Perhaps Paypal does as well.
Today when logging into Paypal I noticed that their video banner was now just a good ole' image banner. I wasn't sure why they decided that they needed to have movement there, I'm wondering if they did (or are currently) doing some testing to see the affects that having a video background does to their bottom line. I'm guessing that perhaps it may have taken a hit.
I've seen the video background trend pop up in a few places. I ilke the overall idea, since I think the web has so much more potential than just being words on a page, as it mostly currently is. I'm just not sure random video shots of people doing everyday activities is the right way of adding movement to the page. In reality, just adding movement to the page isn't really what any of us should be going for -- we should be going for enriching interactivity, where the movement triggered on the page is helps us do whatever it is that we were trying to do, whether it's learning something (where there is amazing opportunity with interactivity), or just loggging into Paypal to take care of some business. Random videos playing in the background I think may be one of those things that we can do, but we should evaluate to make sure it's something we should do.
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The Built Environment