Do you want your videos to be accessible to as many people as possible? Still, the terms "accessibility adaptation" and "audio description" makes you cringe. Worry not! It doesn't need to be complicated or time-consuming. Let us show you how.
Increasing the accessibility of your video content is essentially a matter of catering to more people.
– No less than 20% of all people have some form of disability, so if you adapt your content, more people will be able to access your information, says Mikael Hellman, visual communicator at the city of Malmö in Sweden.
Since last autumn, it's now a legal requirement for all companies within the public sector in the EU to include subtitles and audio descriptions in their videos. Still, all companies can benefit from increasing the accessibility of their video content.
The question is, does that require a lot of extra work and resources? Just the thought of including subtitles and audio descriptions in all videos is enough to freak anyone out. But don't fret. Here are five great tips about how you can do it without breaking a sweat.
1. Focus on the manuscript
Most people watch videos on mute on social channels. This has naturally evolved into most videos being subtitled for social platforms. Having a good manuscript has therefore become the very foundation of any successful video. We at Storykit recommend that you write the manuscript first. Why not create a first version of the video, using only a white font against a black background? If that works on its own, you can then improve it with the imagery of your choice.
This method makes it a lot easier to create highly accessible video content. Your text/subtitles are already sorted, and in order to create the audio description, you only need the manuscript to be read out loud. If you are using Storykit our automated voice-over function takes care of this in a few seconds!
– There are certainly many occasions when a voice-over doesn't suffice as a complete audio description. But regarding the type of video content that is currently dominating our social channels – mainly scripted videos created for viewers that watch without sound – this function is going to be very helpful, says Fredrik Strömberg, VP Product at Storykit.
Read all about the automated voice-over in Storykit here.
2. Simplify your manuscript
👉 Write shorter sentences, for example, by removing "and". Use full stop instead and split it into two sentences.
👉 It's always better to opt for basic words in a video manuscript.
👉 Avoid abbreviations and parentheses as much as possible. It makes the text more difficult to read out loud.
👉 Don't repeat yourself.
3. Larger fonts, fewer words
Larger fonts make it easier for the viewer. The larger, the better. When you work with script-driven videos it's essential to write text that's easy for everyone to read. By using fewer words per slide, you make it more accessible.
4. Improve your story
As you scale down the number of words you use, you can also be more discerning in terms of what information you want to include. An example: If you have a quote, you can add a slide with the following text: "The Mayor of London explains".
5. Use colours and graphics
It's important to choose colors that don't blend in with the text. You're best off using a background plate to make sure that the text really stands out in many instances. Remember to use contrasting colors on the background plate and the text. White text on a yellow background is, for example, not advisable.
All Storykit slide templates have been designed with contrasting colours, as they were created with high accessibility in mind. The user can also adjust the colours to increase the contrast. Since we always keep accessibility in mind, it's harder to "go wrong" in Storykit than other tools.
6. Avoid complex elements
A moving graph can be challenging to understand, as with all other images that are packed with information, so avoid these. Also, keep in mind that graphics can be confusing for people that are colour-blind. A red and a green box may not be enough to illustrate "yes" and "no", but the words "yes" and "no" must also be included.