Closed caption or speech bubble?

May 26, 2020

Hi All, I develop training content for an International audience, most of whom don't speak English as a first language. Prior to using Articulate, I produced a lot of material using Camtasia. I am doing the voice overs myself and was including the text as closed captions in Camtasia. I thought this worked reasonably well, but the limitations were that I had to either embed the closed caption text at the bottom of the screen, which obscured some of the content I wanted to show, or I could show the captions below the video, limiting the viewing of the content to Techsmith's Screencast site.

However, with the ability to add characters in Storyline I am intrigued with the possibility of using speech bubbles instead of closed captioning. The speech bubbles would  follow the voice over instead of rolling closed caption text below. In my mind there was no need for using the "official" closed captioning standard because my target audience is not hearing deficient. 

I am curious to hear opinions pro and con to this approach. 

1 Reply
Sally Wiedenbeck

I strongly suggest sticking with closed captions. Just because your target audience, to your knowledge, does not have hearing impairments doesn't mean they don't want to watch in a quiet space, or have an auditory processing concern, or use captions for any of the dozens of other reasons people use them. Also speech bubbles appear in different places on the screen and are MUCH harder to visually track than standard captions, so quickly become a much worse user experience than captions.

If you are making new videos, the best practice is to not include important visual content in that bottom 20% or so of the screen, so that nothing vital is obscured by the closed captions.

This discussion is closed. You can start a new discussion or contact Articulate Support.