3 – Diversity in design
When including characters, whether filmed or animated, you want to consider different ethnicities, genders, sexual preference, ages and abilities.
Or an alternative that is done sometimes in animation, is where characters are designed not to be male nor female – and are no particular ethnicity. For example, they have a gender-neutral body, clothing and hair, and purple skin colour perhaps.
This method is used quite often to avoid alienating anyone, it has its benefits, but it’s still quite limited.
And because we are often seen to be in a male by default society, frequently when an illustrated character is drawn ‘gender-neutral’ people still assume they’re a male anyway. So it’s something to watch out for
Adding diversity in design is not just a box-ticking exercise. Representation within our media is vitally important, especially representation of different characters that go against negative stereotypes – and it’s shown to help reduce hostility.
When selecting a stock video or photo for a video, this can also be a challenge, as many stock sites mainly include young white people. This is especially the case for office or professional business scenes.
There are some websites for finding diverse stock photography and it’s getting easier – but we generally have a long way to go to find a fair representation in stock assets.
People want to see themselves represented in the media, so diversifying design is a great step towards inclusivity.
4 – Consider Colour in Design
To make the information more legible, high contrast between colours in design is preferred.
For UX design, a colour contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 between all text and background is preferred.
In basic terms, if the background colour is dark, the text must be pale enough to ensure it’s visible. You can check colour ratios here.
For video production, there is no hard rule yet, but following close to this guidance ensures that it’s clear for most people to see and understand.
It’s surprising how often you still see, for example, red text on a green background with a similar tone. I know I could read that fairly well, but there are so many who would really struggle!
5 – Text size
If you have animated captions within the video, consider making them larger. Designers often resist, because it takes up more white space, making the screen fuller. But if it’s done thoughtfully, it can be designed well and be legible.
Most videos will end up being played on a phone, you can’t just create a video for a large computer screen audience any more.
Having larger text will make the video more inclusive for mobile phone users and the visually impaired.
6 – Avoid Jargon and Complex Industry Terms
Everyone uses jargon in their industry, but in a video, it often doesn’t come across well – it’s too niche for the general audience to understand.
Using simple language, avoiding buzzwords and long complicated sentences (especially in passive voice!) will make the video much more accessible to everyone.
7 – Include a Video Transcript Beneath the Video
If the video is very long, maybe over 10 minutes, a video transcript underneath will help viewers to recap the information after they watch. This is especially helpful, as a video this long is most likely to be educational – you want the audience to learn.
Including a transcript they can follow, or read after, will help them to remember more of the content for later, and make it easy to reference back to content. Ted Talks are a great example of use of Transcripts for their video content