Closed Captioning Content Best Practices

Dec 03, 2020

Hello everyone, I have a design best practices question. In our learning template we have a green wrapper (from the player settings). We also used to add a same green-color block on the bottom. We did this so that the closed captioning would have a home on top of this green block. All slide content would be designed above this green block.

Our designers have asked if they could reclaim that space covered by the green block on the bottom in order to have more room to design, a larger canvas, if you will.

My question is, as a best practice, is it ok for the closed captioning text to float over actual slide content? In this case in the bottom eighth of the slide. Or is it a better practice to place a solid color at the bottom so that the closed captions do not cover slide content.

Let me know your thoughts as designers. 

2 Replies
Judy Nollet

Hi, Morris.

Interesting question! 

It is okay for captions to float over content. After all, that happens when one watches a movie with subtitles, so it's not unexpected behavior.

However, for eLearning courses, I think the design needs to accommodate the caption area. That might just mean keeping text and important graphics/images out of that area, so the captions don't interfere with needed content. You'd also have to be careful about any graphics that would make the captions harder to read. 

I like the idea of having a solid block under the caption area. Yet I also sympathize with the designers wanting the entire canvas. Still, you could give a course a custom size. For example, start with your standard 16x9 canvas. Then add to the height however many pixels will accommodate the captions. The designers would still have their usual space, and you'd have an area for the captions to appear.

  • You could also use that area as a sort of footer. For example, on slides without captions, you could put any interaction instructions there.