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Adobe Encore DVD: In the Studio by Doug Dixon

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Designing Navigation

Even with simple DVDs, the navigational design can significantly enhance the viewer’s experience in accessing your content. At a minimum, you should use scene index menus to provide an overview of the disc’s contents and direct access to specific clips, and include chapter points to help the viewer skip through longer videos.

Beyond the basics of consistent design, you can take advantage of other features in the DVD specification to present your content, including alternate audio and video tracks within a timeline, reused material in playlists of multiple linked timelines, “Easter egg” bonus content accessed through secret buttons, and even different access through alternate menus. In these kinds of ways, you can have the best of both approaches: a conventional and straightforward design for access to the main content of the disc, plus an optional (and even secret) design for alternate access to different and additional material.

Consistent navigation design

The first step in creating a great and usable DVD is to be consistent in your navigational design. Even if you are creating a “creative” DVD that deliberately breaks the rules, it’s easier to break the rules if the disc is designed cleanly to begin with.

Main menu

Have a main menu for the disc.

No matter how the disc starts playing, the user needs to have a clearly designed and accessible main access point to the rest of the disc.

Set the first play link appropriately.

You can link to an introductory sequence, ...

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