Partial attention and the multitasking mindset are the hallmarks of most online and mobile users. With the exception of games and online courses, it’s rare that you’ll see an online or mobile user offer more than a few seconds of undivided attention (eyes and ears) at a time. This is why photo galleries featuring short captions, or short videos where audio tells most of the story, tend to succeed with online and mobile audiences moreso than audio slideshows.
Almost nobody—from journalists, to educators, to parents—likes this situation much. But it’s what we’ve got to work with. And when content creators resist adapting to this core user constraint, the result is that labor-intensive and costly multimedia features often end up drawing disappointingly low traffic.
A very interesting discussion documented in this post. Be sure to read all the way down to “The solution is not to abandon multimedia…”