Video and Multimedia Content Accessibility

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Video and Multimedia Content Accessibility

Video and Multimedia Content Accessibility

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Video and multimedia content accessibility is more important than ever. After a year of pandemic and lockdowns, video communication has become intrinsic to the lives of each one of us. Absolutely everyone consumes multimedia content and video players must rise to the challenge and offer consumption options for all audiences.

In our last update in February, we presented you with a new Watchity web player to improve the viewing experience of your audience by consuming the videos you create with our platform. In addition to including new functionalities and a renovated style and colors, it had to be a player prepared according to accessible usability criteria.

What is accessibility?

A condition that environments, processes, products and services must meet, as well as objects or instruments, tools and devices, in order to be understandable, usable and practicable by all people in safety and comfort conditions and in the most autonomous and natural way possible.

The idea of adapting our player according to accessibility criteria arose after a project prepared for the Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalan Government), which has been using our live broadcast solutions for a few months to convey its message to the citizens. Now, in addition, they have adopted our player as a corporate player for all their web pages and networks.

Multi-screen and multi-device

We often tend to think that accessibility is making content consumable for users with visual or motor difficulties, but other dimensions that must be taken into account. Especially when we talk about the playing of content on different screens and devices. The work goal was to ensure that the Watchity player worked:

  • across all screen sizes.
  • in all web browsers.
  • efficiently in loading content.
  • broadcasting to Smart TVs and other devices (Chromecast, Apple TV, etc).
  • with a dedicated version for mobile phones and small screen devices. The arrangement and size of all the icons are completely different in the mobile version, prioritizing the correct navigation even using your thumbs.

Subtitles, audio description and alternative languages

At the same time –and this has been one of the greatest improvements in the February update-, our player had to allow alternative options that would help users with hearing difficulties or those who simply wanted to understand the video content in their own language. Thus, it was added:

  • possibility of adding subtitles, ensuring that the font style (Sans Serif variants), the font size (between 18 and 22) and the number of characters per line ease the information’s legibility.
  • possibility to add alternative audio languages to the original.
  • possibility to add audio descriptions.

Contrast, icon shading, and alt text

Another important point is the legibility of the icons and elements present throughout the content playback. Some of the actions taken are:

  • White-on-black contrast for unselected icons and cyan-on-black contrast for user-activated icons. These color combinations are recommended to offer the best legibility of the elements while giving information to the viewer about the action that is taking place at all times.
  • Subtitles with automatic interlining to ensure that lines do not overlap each other and with automatic positioning depending on whether the browsing bar is visible or not.
  • Alternative text when hovering over any of the icons. When making a mouseover on any of the elements of the player, a tooltip is displayed indicating what exactly is going to be clicked.

Navigation using the keyboard

Finally, our web player has been prepared so that it can be operated without using the mouse. This improves usability for people with physical difficulties operating the mouse or visually impaired users interacting with braille keyboards. Thus, using the keys, you can pause/start the broadcast, mute the content, etc.

Has this interested you?

What did you think of this article? Were you interested in the features that our player offers? Request a demo with us to learn how you can improve the viewing and interaction experience of your events using Watchity.

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