Video description is an amazing assistive technology that allows blind and low-vision audiences to access a program’s visual content by translating images into words. This might sound fairly straightforward at first, but there are many factors that go into writing high-quality video description that creates a seamless experience for the audience:
Relevance of Detail
Writers should describe whatever information (settings, characters, actions, and other details) is most important for a blind viewer to understand what is happening in the program. Description should not duplicate any material that is already clear from the program’s dialogue or sound effects.
Clarity of Description
Descriptions should be accurate and easy to visualize. Writers should remain as objective as possible and avoid adding their own opinions or interpretations.
Vividness of Language
Writers should bring the scene to life by using the active voice, precise verbs, and evocative diction.
Consistency of Mood
Writers should choose language that matches the mood, tone, and visual style of the program.
Timing and Readability
The descriptions must fit around the characters’ dialogue and within the total run time of the seen. They should be readable at a natural pace by voiceover talent.
If writing video description sounds like an enjoyable challenge to you, try entering our second annual Just Add Words Video Description Contest!