Make Animation Accessible
Inclusive Design Toolkit for the specific area of digital animations (Curated by Enrico Bisenzi and Alessandro Carducci)
Abstract: a stylistic interface solution is proposed through a concrete example and a kit of indications and technical solutions – some already known, others experimental – to make the animations digital how much more accessible in relation to the needs of various personas such as blind, deaf, color blind, epileptic, cognitive disabled, dyslexics emphasizing the importance of proper implementation of open and standard languages.
This research work is distributed and protected by
the creative commons license of the Attribution type – Non Commercial – Equal Share Mode 4.0 International
The characters used for the animations and animated stories of example are
Copyright Alessandro Carducci
Proper Visual Choices
The following animation is designed paying attention to NOT provide dangerous flashes for epileptic people and without providing information to colours in an exclusive way so to support blind-color people’s needs. The version produced is equipped with a special frame to facilitate people with limited peripheral vision.
The following animation host on the special box on the left a translation of the audio-component in the Italian Language of Sign (remember deaf people always prefer sign language to communicate).
The following audio description is particularly useful for all users who prefer audio-listening to “read something” as for example blind people who prefer a recited and empathic voice to the synthetic ones of screen-readers, dyslexic people and everyone that cannot involve eyes while carrying out some duties.
Dagghy meets XS2 Italian audio-description
Dagghy meets XS2 English audio-description
The textual content can be particular useful for those people like blind and dyslexic people that prefer listen rather than “read” (or percept by screen-reader and braille tools).
(Italian text) Dagghy incontra XS2
Accompagnata dalla divertente musica di Lorenzo Zambelli, questa è la storia di un simpatico cagnolino di nome Dagghy che fa un incontro speciale con XS2: una stellina speciale il cui nome XS2 in inglese si pronuncia come access to ovvero accedere a qualcosa.
XS2 è infatti una specie di creatura magica capace di aiutare chiunque voglia comprendere un’animazione e magari ha qualche difficoltà ad ascoltare un audio o a vedere le immagini.
Dagghy è un cagnolino dalle grandi orecchie e dal nasino pronunciato, un cagnolino speciale, antropomorfo, in grado di sedersi ad un tavolo e curiosare su Internet e proprio sul Web… incontra “Oh!?!” casualmente XS2! L’incontro è letteralmente scintillante perché è grazie ad un bagliore che XS2 si presenta “Ciao!” nella sua forma di stellina magica che un po’ ricorda il simbolo del PLAY che si usa quando si vuole attivare un video oppure un audio.
Uscendo dallo schermo del computer, XS2 saluta e si presenta sorridente con i suoi occhini dalle lunghe ciglia e aiuta Dagghy a comprendere meglio l’animazione anche grazie al secondo schermo laterale in cui sono contenute le descrizioni testuali “E sono qui per aiutarti a comprendere meglio questa animazione”.
Il cagnolino Dagghy è stupito “Oooh!” ed incredulo ed incuriosito dallo schermo di aiuto accanto… lo tocca e magicamente diventa a pallini blu “Sono diventato a pallini blu!”
La stellina XS2 lo rassicura “Ci penso io!”” e dà una dimostrazione dei suoi poteri riportandolo ai suoi colori originali.
Dagghy ringrazia XS2 “Grazie!” e così nasce fra loro una splendida amicizia.
(English text) Dagghy Meets XS2
This is the story of a cute little dog named Dagghy. He has a chance encounter with XS2, a special star whose name is pronounced as access to or access to something.
XS2 is in fact a kind of magical creature capable of helping anyone who wants to understand an animation and maybe has some difficulty listening to an audio or seeing images.
Dagghy has big ears and a pronounced nose. He is an anthropomorphic dog and is able to sit at a table and browse the Internet; On the Web he randomly meets XS2. She appears with a glow in her magic form that resembles the PLAY symbol the same that is used when you want to activate a video or a piece of audio.
Leaving the computer screen, XS2 greets Dagghy with a smile and helps him to better understand animation thanks to the second side screen which contains the text descriptions.
XS2:”Hi! I’m XS2 and I’m here to help you better understand this animation!”
Dagghy the Dog is amazed and intrigued by the help screen next to him.
He touches it and magically he gets blue dots.
Dagghy:”I have got blue dots!”
XS2 reassures him and demonstrates her powers by restoring him to his original colors.
XS2:”I can fix it!”
Dagghy thanks XS2
and thus a splendid friendship is born between them.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
The following example is a translation of the animation on English language so to provide an Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) version that is particularly useful for cognitive disabled people. The font applied is Atkinson Hyperlegible – available for free to everyone: brailleinstitute.org.
Credits and technical references
If you have appreciated these inclusive proposals of User Interfaces for better User eXperiences relating to accessibility issues you could be interested also to the technical document of “Inclusive design toolkit for the specific area of digital animations” published in Italian language on http://www.infoaccessibile.com/xs2animation.htm
Accessibility implementations by Ivan Legnaioli, Front-end Developer & Code Accessibility Specialist. Graduated in New Technologies of Art at the Academy of Fine Arts of Carrara. Author of UX Comics – Scroll that story, a design proposal aimed at comic book authors who decide to distribute their works online. This design aims to bridge the gap between traditional paper comics and the experiments that led to the birth of multimedia comics.
- Enrico Bisenzi teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome in the Graphic Design sector, at the beginning of his work and professional activity he focused on the organization and indexing of electronic documents, collaborating until the 1990s with the CNR (National Center of Research) of Florence. Soon his attention shifts to digital communication and therefore to expressive possibilities, collaborating with many private companies (among the first Feltrinelli) and research institutions (Indire and Universities). Accessibility and usability of information, digital interfaces and related user experiences are the focus of his professional approach working on projects such as Winter Olympics, insurance companies, hospitals and municipalities. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alessandro Carducci Artist, Animator and Video Creator graduated in New Technologies for Art at the Carrara Academy of Fine Arts in Bergamo and specialized in Net Art and Digital Cultures at the Carrara Academy of Fine Arts (MS). He also specialized with a Masters in Filmmaking, Videomaking and VFX. Since 2014 he has been a partner of Channel Frederator Network and creates animation and video content for the Web. He has also worked as a Video Producer, Animator and Graphic Designer at some private companies. He is the author of projects currently in Work in Progress such as Cardeis Cartoons and Water Project. He can be contacted using this Form.
We are particularly grateful to Mirella Castigli for providing her voice for the audio description in Italian and for being the voice of the Italian version of XS2, to Federico D’Andrea and Aurora Pavesi for having us provided the translation into the Italian Sign Language. We are grateful too to Jeremy A. Freed the official voice of Dagghy the Dog and to Megan Konrad for be the voice of the English version of XS2 and the voice of the audio description in English. Music by Lorenzo Zambelli. Special thanks to Ivan Legnaioli for the implementation of Accessibility to the website. Subtitles and textual alternatives by Enrico Bisenzi, characters XS2 and Dagghy created and animated by Alessandro Carducci for the brand Cardeis Art (registered trademark and copyright – all rights reserved).