Tips for making mobile-friendly screencast videos
I love my iPhone. I mean, I re-e-ally love it. To the point that- apart from using a laptop for work – I hardly ever access the Internet with a laptop anymore. Even when it comes to watching videos on YouTube or through Facebook or the web…more and more, I find myself accessing them on my phone.
And, it appears, I’m not the only one. A recent e-Marketer survey shows mobile video adoption will continue on a steep upward growth path for at least the next four years. Some of the factors causing this growth are the overall strength of the smartphone market, strong competition among makers of mobile operating systems, and the availability of content for the different screens. The survey predicts that the number of mobile video consumers will grow from 45 million in the U.S. to over 78 million by 2015.
And, with both tablets and smartphones gaining in popularity, users are often toggling between their various screens (tablets, smartphones and laptops) throughout the day.
Needless to say, the explosion of smart phones and mobile devices has had an incredible impact on video marketing. Knowing these figures, screencasters and videographers who don’t currently create their videos with mobile users in mind should seriously start thinking about doing so.
Here are some tips to consider when creating video specifically for mobile devices:
- Aspect ratio: Work at an aspect ratio consistent with mobile output. The iPhone 4 output is 480×360. It’s difficult to work at this tiny size, but keep your project file’s aspect ratio at 4:3 to avoid black bars on the sides (curtains) or top/bottom (letterboxing). Some common 4:3 resolutions are 1024×768 or 800×600.
- Lighting: If you’re capturing video for mobile devices, be aware of lighting. Poor lighting is a greater problem with mobile devices and can reduce visibility on small screens. Shoot and adjust with this limitation in mind.
- Keep it simple: Keep your movements large and to a minimum. You may need to zoom in closer than you normally would for demoing specific actions on-screen, but try to keep large sweeping movements to a minimum.
- Frame rate: Generally you can reduce your frame rate if you anticipate your viewers will be coming primarily from mobile devices. In general, if you have all types of viewers, a frame rate of 22 fps is a good compromise for reducing file size without losing quality. You could get by with 15 frames per second (fps) for mobile-only exposure. Experiment with what works best for your videos.
- Consider providing a mobile-specific video for your mobile viewers. Use the export presets available in ScreenFlow. Several presets are designed for export to mobile devices: iPad, iPhone and iPod.
In general, when you’re producing a screencast or video, keep in mind that, it WILL most likely be viewed by some of your audience on mobile device, so keep these tips in mind for the best experience for all.
Do you have any other tips specific to creating video for viewing on mobile devices? Please share in the comments below.