PSG Number: GM-14-005
Topical Area: Web Design and Development
Issue Date: 11/1/2013
Effective Date: 11/1/2013
Document Type: Guideline; Published (approved by Web Standards Group and GTA)
POC for Changes: Interactive
Synopsis: Multimedia guidelines for State of Georgia web sites.

2.2.1 Audio, Video, and Animation

Use video, animation, and audio only when they help to convey, or are supportive of, the site’s message or other content.

  • DO NOT set audio or video to auto-start on page load or on mouse-over.
  • DO provide manual controls to start, pause, and navigate through the multimedia element.
  • DO support keyboard interaction so that users who cannot use a mouse can still control the function of the multimedia.

Please reference the Accessibility Standards on Alternates and Fallbacks for requirements on providing text equivalents to video and audio.

2.2.2 Flash

If at all possible, do not use Flash at all. Most things that used to require Flash to display can now be accomplished using CSS3, Javascript, or JQuery.

If you find it is necessary to keep a flash component on the page, it should be as a supplemental element. Be sure that any relevant content is also available in a text format.

As a best case scenario, use Javascript to check if a user’s computer supports Flash. If it does not support your Flash content, use Javascript to replace the Flash content with a text or image equivalent.

2.2.3 Video Hosting

We recommend using a 3rd party video hosting server environment that is tuned to hosting videos, and embed them on your website.

Hosting videos on your own servers is discouraged for a number of reasons, including the large file sizes and bandwidth requirements of video streaming / downloading. By hosting your own videos you will also need to create a number of file format types in order to make your video accessible to different operating systems and web browsers. Video hosting services are better tuned to the video storage and streaming, and are also set up to auto-convert video to a number of formats.

Recommended video hosting services include but are not limited to:

* Note: When setting up an account for a third party video hosting service, be sure to use a generic, agency-specific email account that can be taken over by another user should you be out for any reason, or should someone else take over your role managing the content. Also be sure that your supervisor also has the login information to maintain business continuity.

2.2.4 Resources