When we first launched Vimeo On Demand (our self-distribution platform), we made a lot of assumptions. The design resembled many other movie rental sites at the time, with tons of posters for the viewer to scan and paginate through. It relied very heavily on poster artwork to do all of the selling. Shortly after launch, we realized that this might not be the best approach for VOD.
While most other rental sites can rely on poster artwork, the nature of our direct-from-creator catalog means we need to share additional information about both the title and its creator. In the case of Vimeo On Demand, a poster isn’t quite enough to entice potential viewers. The magic, we discovered, is in the trailer.
We recently redesigned the Vimeo on Demand homepage to focus on ease of discovery. As we began brainstorming ways to evolve our browsing mechanisms, we kept a few simple guidelines in mind:
Vimeo On Demand has over 6,000 titles (!), many of which, potential viewers haven’t heard of (yet).
Discovery tools should be fun, simple to use, and engaging. Because duh.
The trailer is king — king of selling videos, that is.
After throwing a bunch of ideas around, we came up with a solution: Video Cards.
Each video card is simple by nature, containing only a poster, short description, and two actionable buttons. Now, in addition to seeing the eye-catching poster, people looking for something to watch can immerse themselves in a title by reading a description and watching the trailer — all without navigating elsewhere.
We eventually extended the concept for video cards into our hero area — the top section of the On Demand homepage. This allows us to highlight titles without requiring any one-off design assets. Much like the cards, the background is simply a blurred version of the poster overlayed on top of the custom button color, which visually ties everything together.
While we’re still testing what we should surface in these new modules, we think video cards will help you find a thing or two to watch on Vimeo On Demand. But enough design jargon: go scope some vid cards and preview some titles!