On Your Post-It Note: What Should I Focus when Building My Video Portal
** Published in Kaltura Blog as well**
A decision to introduce a video portal to your organization has been made or currently in process, and you are in charge.
Whether you are an IT person, HR Manager, a Marketer or from any specific business unit, you are probably asking yourself – “How do I make sure this is a success story? My success story…”
Well, you’re reading the right piece to help you with that.
Write this list on a Post-It Note and stick it on your board, so tomorrow morning and during the entire project, you’ll know what items you should focus on:
Define What You Are Building – What is your need? A “video portal” is a very generic term. What are the pain-points you are trying to address? Define your goals clearly by talking to users and managers in your organization. They won’t always be clear, they won’t always talk about the same things, in some cases they won’t know what they need. They will provide pieces of information that you need to collect and connect together to a coherent “story”. A well-defined need is a “must have” starting point to get to the end-goal. Here are some features to think about and include in your definition:
Will it mainly be used as an organization archive (hence with VOD focus)
Will you use it for live sessions as well (e.g. town-hall meetings)
Will users be able to contribute content (UGC)
Will it cater to multiple use-cases at the same time
The Structure of Pages and Metadata – Think about the desired structure for your portal. Which elements are going to be present and how are they going correspond with each other – for example, a homepage, video page, galleries, channels, playlists, and so on. Don’t forget the metadata structure for each element (gallery, video, etc.). Metadata, such as text descriptions, tags, optional and mandatory data fields and others, are extremely important to fit the portal to your organization and help your users find the content they are looking for. Try to list what are the “must have” and the “nice to have” elements.
Mobile Support – Users use mobile devices, in work as in life. Usage levels are increasing even as you read this… Even if it is not yet widely used by your users and your organization, it will be in the future. Think about it now. You want your solution to be able to support mobile use-cases. Having mobile-specific capabilities (e.g., download content for offline-view) is even better and becomes a basic expectation by your users.
Search Capabilities – Video content is growing at an explosive rate around the world and inside organizations. Searching for a specific video piece in an endless pool of content will be a daunting mission, an impossible one even. For the success of the solution you are building and for the sake of your users and business, search is externally important. Decide how this will be done and what tools you want to leverage. For instance, integrate with your enterprise search tool, search text on video transcripts to increase discoverability, and more.
Internal and External Relationship – Your organization is a multi-system environment and will probably stay this way in the foreseeable future. The day-to-day work of your users is done with many applications: CRM, ERP, Social Business SW, Email, Wiki, LMS, Enterprise Search, Salesforce, Content Management System, various websites and even Social Media portals like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Your video portal is a standalone application but when integrated with existing systems, it is far more powerful. Your users will appreciate the connection and it will help drive adoption of the new solution you introduce. Embedding videos in these systems, embedding/exposing complete elements like channels or galleries within them and seamlessly sharing content to Facebook are just some of the options you should consider.
Entitlements and Security – Not everything is relevant to everyone, and as the amount of content grows, it will be more difficult to enforce and to control who gets access to what content. It is important to choose a solution that has a robust entitlements mechanism in place. These need to easily and clearly allow you to control what is relevant to whom. However, note that over-protecting, over-restricting and over-controlling can impact adoption and usage rates. You want to find the right balance…
The Exotics of Today are the Commons of Tomorrow – Video, as a rich media type, keeps evolving. Every year new technology emerges as the market and user demand continue to grow and evolve. Things like 360 videos, 4K resolution, automatic speech-to-text and image recognition are just few examples from recent years. While this might not all be relevant for you right now, don’t overlook it. Make sure your solution is future-proof and can grow over time; your users definitely will!
Content and Launch – Last but not least, the actual operation of introducing your solution. You know that there is no second chance to make a first impression, so think about the initial content you populate the portal with. You want to introduce your portal with a sufficient amount of quality content that your users will be able to make use of. Content is King! On top of that, think about creative ways to launch your video portal, such as an amusing introduction video clip, a message from your Management to all users, a contest between users’ to upload videos and more.
Introducing a new video portal to your organization is a big task and a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. There are so many aspects to consider and details to review. Some are technical, some are UX-related and some are operational. Focusing on the fundamentals and using the help of experienced professionals is the key to successes.