Unit 11: Intro to Photoshop
Unit 12: Design Accessibility
Unit 13: Product Design Thinking
Unit 14: User Experience Design
Unit 16: Introduction to Design Portfolios
Unit 17: Portfolio Development
Unit 18: Personal Branding
Unit 19: Case Studies
Unit 20: Portfolio Website Design
Unit 21: Career Coaching
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Video and Audio

User Control in Audio and Video

User control is an important aspect of universal usability. Users must be able to control their environment and to make decisions about what happens on a Web page, and when. This holds true for audio and video content. Given the demands that these elements place on users, audio and video should not appear within the content of a standard Web page. Loading an audio or video file should happen only when the user elects to access the file by clicking on a link. Access to video and audio should come with multiple options so users can choose the size and format that best suit their needs.

In addition to controlling when to load media files, users must be in control of media playback. Web pages containing audio and video that is set to play automatically can cause usability problems. For example, some web pages contain background music that plays automatically when the page is loaded. Imagine accessing a page with background music in a public setting, such as the library, or trying to make sense of it using a screen reader. Without a way to control playback—to pause or control the volume setting—users may be forced to leave the page to regain control of their environment. As with the choice to load media elements, the choice to play audio or video should always be user-driven. Present media elements with playback controls. Do not automatically play media; instead, wait for the user to activate the play button.

Opt for Closed Captions and Be Careful With Automated Captions

Whenever possible, use closed captions instead of open captions. Closed captions can be turned off. Open captions are pre-rendered, so they can’t be disabled. Users cannot read open captions with screen readers or other assistive technologies (AT).

You should use closed captions unless you have no other option — for example, if you’re publishing video on a social platform that doesn’t support caption files.

As a best practice, we recommend avoiding automated captioning tools. Although AI has improved tremendously over the years, automated captions often introduce mistakes that can distract and frustrate users.

If you use automatic captions, be sure to review them carefully. However, the best option is to prepare captions and transcripts when drafting scripts for your videos.

Consider Providing a Transcript

WCAG doesn’t require transcripts for pre-recorded videos that contain audio content. However, if you publish videos that do not contain audio, you’ll need to provide a detailed transcript to meet WCAG SC 1.2.1 (Audio-only and Video-only).

Although videos can meet WCAG requirements with captions alone, it’s a good idea to provide transcripts whenever possible. Transcripts allow people to read at their own pace, which can be beneficial for assistive technology users, non-native speakers, and people with learning disorders.

A well-written transcript can also help with search engine optimization (SEO) by making video content more “crawlable.”

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