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: https://hearmeoutcc.com/benefits-subtitles-captions-transcriptions/)
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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhtqMwm0Zy4)
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.