MALT Wiki player with personalization mockup

Wendy Porch and I presented an evaluation version of the new MALT Wiki player at Techshare, in September (arch). Since then I’ve been busy with other projects, but I’ve now had time to produce a mockup demonstrating personalization options and how I hope to get people to contribute. This is based on my own thoughts and some interesting points raised by people including Jonathan Hassell during our presentation.

The screenshot below shows the player with a panel below starting “About Learn about Moodle”. The player works, while the meta-data and personalization panel is mostly just a mockup. This panel would be hidden initially, with a “show/hide” button. And the thinking is that the panel would always be available, including when a video is embedded in a third-party site like a blog, a virtual learning environment or video sites like YouTube.

MALT Wiki player, with mockup meta-data and personalization panel

MALT Wiki player with personalization and meta-data mockup, on Flickr.

Working from the top of the screen shot, down:

  1. The page is designed to be contained in an <iframe>, however we still provide a meaningful title.
  2. The player uses Flash and is built on Flow player. I evaluated various Flash players, and Flow player is currently the best, in terms of license (GPL), the scripting and styling potential, the Flash and Javascript plug-ins already available, and the “attractiveness” of the player.
  3. Captions are displayed using Flow player’s caption and content Flash plug-ins. Captions can be individually styled (eg. colour, alignment), which is not possible in a number of other players, eg YouTube’s.
  4. The player controls are a HTML/Javascript plug-in for Flow player, created specifically for MALT Wiki. They are inspired by Chris Heilmann’s Easy YouTube player. The HTML consists of a list of buttons (<li><input type="image"...>), with a hidden volume edit box for screen readers – this is fully keyboard accessible. (Note, the user-interface is incomplete - a volume ‘meter’ and progress bar are missing.)
  5. The start of the new panel. There are 4 links allowing people to contribute – they can give feedback, create/edit alternative content (captions, audio description), request alternatives (vote) and view comments.
  6. Meta-data including attribution, copyright, license and disclaimer. This makes people’s contributions visible, and hopefully indicates that the owner of the video is not necessarily responsible for the quality of captions, audio description etc.
  7. A personalization form, allowing the user to set their preference for captions, audio description etc., the ‘theme’ for the player and controls, and their language. (The language control is the only one that works, and Simplified Chinese is chosen in the screen shot).

Obviously the mockup panel adds complexity, which is a concern. The straightforward, uncluttered interface of the Easy YouTube player has been shown to be usable by those with learning disabilities, as well as screen reader users and others. Giving users the ability to drive the creation of accessible alternatives is a key focus of our project, so I am keen to test the work so far, to find out how usable the player is for a wider range of users.

I’ll keep you posted!

Learn about Moodle, on YouTube.

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