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Let's Make Captions Beautiful (& Searchable) to Improve Video Experience - BrightonSEO September 2019


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What do you think of when it comes to captions/subtitles?

For many people, it's about improving accessibility to those who are deaf or hard of hearing and allow to enjoy the experience of watching videos.

It's the right idea, but many people underestimate the power of captions and how much it can benefit the users' experience when they are accessing videos (a blog post and video I've created discussion about those benefits is here:

Despite the good intentions, captions tend to be, not just ignored or less of a priority, but also created without thinking about how much bad captions can push people away.

Using my own personal experience, I am hard of hearing and have been since birth and it is declining. Not only have I been dependent on captions all of my life, but the dependency has increased even more due to the decline of my hearing.

With my decades of "experience" of watching good and bad captions, it made me realise that captions are still an after-thought for many people, despite the multiple benefits that it can bring to you. And of course, if there are no captions since that experience has worsened dramatically, and a good example is when I'm at the cinema and watching superhero movies (yet people still say that I should lip-read...but you try lipreading Spiderman and Iron Man:

I realised more and more that many people are also following bad practices when it comes to captions. For example, they depend on the auto-captions on YouTube, which can bring a terrible experience to all users.

And there are others who are not choosing the right words when captioning. For example, when there is a generic [rumble] sound on the video, that could be anything from a train rumbling nearby to your hungry tummy rumbling.

But if it's just written as [rumble], it's left to us to work out what is that rumbling sound.

Video is an essential part of content consumption and according to Cisco, 80% of the global content consumption will be videos by 2019 and videos will also dominate 80% of the global traffic in 2019.

So isn't it time that we take video experience even more seriously than ever before by making use of captions?

I would like the audience to realise that captions is an essential part of user experience, and if you are creating videos (if not, why not? Need I remind you what Cisco predicts?), then you risk missing out. At the end of this tutorial session, you will walk away and realise that captions are just as important as good lighting, audio and storytelling.

And not just any captions...but beautiful captions too.

Because it's an art.

Published in: Internet
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Let's Make Captions Beautiful (& Searchable) to Improve Video Experience - BrightonSEO September 2019

  1. 1. Making Captions Beautiful (& Searchable) to Improve Video Experience Ahmed Khalifa @IamAhmedKhalifa
  2. 2. It’s so nice and quiet here.
  3. 3. [Silence]
  4. 4. This suits me very well because it means that we can hear better.
  5. 5. Because when it’s a noisy environment,
  6. 6. like a bar or a restaurant
  7. 7. a conference.
  8. 8. It’s a struggle for me personally, but also for many people.
  9. 9. I do sometimes wish there are captions right in front me
  10. 10. just so I can follow the conversations and
  11. 11. be aware of my surroundings. But that’s not possible.
  12. 12. The thing is, it’s not just about having what is said typed
  13. 13. out in front of me. The quality and accuracy of those captions
  14. 14. matters too. And the context too. They all matter.
  15. 15. So these are the areas that I want to cover today, making captions
  16. 16. right, making it work for everyone…making it beautiful.
  17. 17. None of that auto-caption nonsense.
  18. 18. And that will also mean we will get some SEO benefits as well.
  19. 19. So get comfortable in your shit and let me explain what I mean.
  20. 20. So get comfortable in your seat and let me explain what I mean.
  21. 21. Photo by Immo
  22. 22. Photo by Maria
  23. 23. Auto-captions are CRAPtion
  24. 24. Tweet by @ninamasseyPA “…Batman…” “…that man…”
  25. 25. Video by Rhett & “Core pressurization…” “Core pressures Asian…”
  26. 26. Video by Rhett & “…for halong…”
  27. 27. “…you’re going to book your holiday…” “…you Gordon Buchla hardik…”
  28. 28. “Thank you, hello…”
  29. 29. “I am from Huddersfield…”
  30. 30. “I feel like I’m blushing…”
  31. 31. Video by Rhett & “Rudolph the red nosed reindeer”
  32. 32. Video by Rhett & “...Cal Tech is a crazy rapist…” “...Cal Tech has a crazy waitlist…”
  33. 33. Video by Rhett & “...employee signs to a death customer…” “...employee signs to a deaf customer…”
  34. 34. Content is King, but Context is Key
  35. 35. Photo by Maria
  36. 36. The Accidental Grammar & Punctuation
  37. 37. Let’s eat Grandma. Let’s eat, Grandma.
  38. 38. Photo by Maria “…sin-bins. So Andy, the game was well-managed…”
  39. 39. Photo by Maria “…the stroke of a pen is…”
  40. 40. What Does the Music Sound Like?
  41. 41. Photo by Maria
  42. 42. Photo by Maria
  43. 43. Photo by Maria
  44. 44. Photo by Maria
  45. 45. Photo by Maria
  46. 46. Where is the Sound Coming From?
  47. 47. Photo by Maria
  48. 48. Photo by Maria
  49. 49. Are There Any Sounds at All?
  50. 50. Photo by Maria
  51. 51. Photo by Maria
  52. 52. Is it Clear to See and Easy to Read ?
  53. 53. Video by Rhett &
  54. 54. Go Big or Go Home?
  55. 55. Don’t get too far ahead of yourselves…
  56. 56. What Do You Get Out of Captions?
  57. 57. Statistics by ‘Action on Hearing
  58. 58. Statistics by ‘World Health Over 900 million people will be d/Deaf or hard of hearing by 2050 Over 466 million d/Deaf and hard of hearing people in the world
  59. 59. “…80% of people who use closed captions are neither d/Deaf nor hard of hearing.” Statistic by Ofcom | Photo by Phillip Goldsberry
  60. 60. 85 % Statistic by ‘Digiday’ | Photo by Alex Suprun “…85% watch Facebook video in silence.”
  61. 61. Statistics by Facebook | Photo by Will Francis “…captioned video ads increase video view time by an average of 12%..”
  62. 62. “…more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic” Statistics by Cisco | Photo by StartupStockPhotos “…1 million minutes of video crossing the internet per second”
  63. 63. What Does it Mean for SEO?
  64. 64. “You should always review automatic captions and edit any parts that haven't been properly transcribed”.
  65. 65. “ASR (Automatic Speech Recognition) produces about 60-80% accuracy rates....” By 3PlayMedia | Image by Markus Spiske
  66. 66. 8 Rules of Captioning
  67. 67. 1. Need to be clean & true verbatim Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi
  68. 68. 2. Include non-speech elements Photo by Splitshire
  69. 69. 3. It needs to follow proper grammatical rules Photo by
  70. 70. 4. Use upper & lower case letters where appropriate Photo by Markus
  71. 71. 5. Good size font & colour contrast Photo by Miguel Á.
  72. 72. 6. Translate profanity (unless it’s bleeped out) Photo by
  73. 73. 7. It needs to be done before you publish your video Photo by
  74. 74. 8. Never EVER depend on auto-captions Photo by energepic
  75. 75. Image by Chuttersnap
  76. 76. Thank You! @IamAhmedKhalifa Ahmed Khalifa