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This page lists questions that arose from a review of the Video Player design mock-ups presented by Tona on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011.

We'd like to preserve any discussion arising from these questions, so please add your answers or comments to this page, under the relevant question.

What are the keyboard interactions?

The user should be able to manage with keyboard shortcuts the following controls and options (basic keyboard in bold):


Suggested keyboard shortcut



Exit full-screen


Display/hide video controls




Restart video

Ctrl+Left Arrow

Go to next chapter

Right Arrow

Go to previous chapter

Left Arrow

Mute the volume


Volume Up

Up Arrow

Volume Down

Down Arrow

Display/hide Captions


Add/remove bookmark

Focus on bookmark + spacebar

Go to next bookmark

B+Right Arrow (or focus on bookmark+Right Arrow)

Go to previous bookmark

B+Left Arrow (or focus on bookmark+Left Arrow)





Narration on/off

N (or focus on narration+spacebar)

Expand/collapse narration options

N+Down/Up Arrow (or focus on narration+Down/Up Arrow)

Transcript on/off

T(or focus on transcript+spacebar)

Expand/collapse transcript options

T+Down/Up Arrow (or focus on transcript+Down/Up Arrow)

Scroll up/down transcript

Focus on transcript field, Page Up/Page Down

Select a fragment in the transcript text (if technically feasible)

Focus on transcript field, move the arrows to move the cursor, and Shift+move arrow to select a word. When a word selected, all the corresponding fragment will highlight (too complex?) 

Full screen video: switch between horizontal/vertical layout

H (horizontal) / V (ver tical)

Activate the field to type and go directly to a frame

Focus on the text field, enter

(For standards in other media players, see the summary of Video Player keyboard shortcuts)

  • Comment from Michelle: I think it would be asking too much for people to remember shortcuts for all of these actions. As long as there is an obvious way to show the controls we can probably do most of what we need to with normal browser behavior and the tab key.
  • Answer from Tona: I agree. As Colin suggested, we can have two ways to give access to the controls from the keyboard: 
    • Global shortcuts, as shows the list below. By default shortcuts will be given, but the user must be able to customize them. 
    • Local shortcuts: that's when we use the Tab key to focus on one or another control. Depending of the control focused, we can press up arrow to increase or down arrow to decrease (e.g. for volume option), or the Space Bar to toggle (on/off, play/pause, etc). 

From Colin: Keyboard controls for Firefox's built-in video player

What are interactions for users with no fine motor control?

Can there be any ability to “zoom” the scrub bar to allow fine control?

Resizing options for video should be included in the Content Preferences panel - Audio + Video (view concept designs for AD, fig. 6). The scrubbing bar can have a specific control there, to make the user able to scale: 

  • All the video controls (including the scrubbing bar and the video text)
  • Just the scrubbing bar

The text size can also be managed independently from the Display Preferences panel (view concept designs for AD, fig. 5)

What is “narration?”

The audio narration explains actions or key visual elements in the video, that are not explained or clear in the soundtrack. For instance, if there if it's a sunny day or there's a view of people in a hurry. 

Narration is intended for people that can not see the video (e.g. while driving), and Closed Captions are for people that can not hear it. 

  • Clarification question from Michelle: Does narration include both audio and visual elements that are not in the main transcript? Is the text of the narration visible on the screen somewhere or is it an audio only element?
  • Comment from Tona: According to what was told in the meeting, the Narration describes visual elements and is an audio only element. 

How does narration interact with main audio?

The user can manage independently the soundtrack and the narration volume.

As far as possible, given that the narration will be read from a file, the editor should foresee that the narration doesn't coincide with other voices in the soundtrack. 

(suggestion for instructors: the narrator voice should be distinct from any other voice in the video).

How does narration volume interact with main volume?

They are totally independent. The narration volume is managed from the Narration options (panel).

What happens when you click "request narration"?

It appears a form to submit the request, as described in Concept Designs for Floe - Figure 1

What are the transcript options?

  • Select the transcript language
  • Request transcript

A first design is available in Concept Designs for Floe - Figure 3. The "None" option will disappear, because has been replaced by the "on/off" switch of the option itself. 

Why do scrollbars disappear at all, ever?

To make the screen as simple as possible, given that the video and its additional elements (as transcript) can create in the user a feeling of strong visual density. 

What are the "Embed" options?

  • Size (width and height). The text fields show the current size by default.
  • "Show text below video"

This design is already available in the Video player designs, section 12.

What exactly is in the “Share” dropdown?

It should include options to email the video (typing an email address and a short personal message), or share it with web services (facebook, twitter, ...)

This design is already available in the video player designs, section 12.

What are bookmarks? Can you navigate to them? can you list them? Can you create browser bookmarks for them? Can you add notes/title? etc...

In the current design, bookmarks serve only to mark fragments that are specially important for a given user (e.g., is the video is a lecture and she wants to remember where a specific subject is developed). 

But indeed, bookmarks should evolve in future designs so the user can: 

  • navigate them
  • create new bookmarks independently of the chapters marks
  • add notes
  • export all the transcript fragments that have been bookmarked in a text file 
  • share bookmarks (e.g. to a class group)

How will bookmarks be persisted?

In the current design, they can not be persisted but using the keyboard shortcuts. 

In future versions, the user should be able to go to next/previous bookmark (maybe using video controls, or choosing from a list of bookmarks)

  • Clarification from Anastasia: Sorry for being confusing. By "persist" I mean "be available at later dates." So the question is: How will bookmarks be stored so that when users re-visit the video at a later time, they are still available?
  • Answer from Tona: Sorry for not understanding the question, Anastasia. I guess that the only way to store the bookmarks will be having a user identification. The bookmarks must be available for the user everywhere (e.g. a teacher working at home saves some bookmarks to use them at class). This implies that the user should be able to identify himself not only for saving the bookmarks, but also to retrieve them (working on the design solution).

Enlarged controls: How should overlapping chapter markers be handled?

(working on the design solution)

How do we choose text colours of translucent overlays given variable colours of the video?

We will test it to cover all possibilities (max and min lightness of the background image), but overlays are composed by a white text over a translucent black background, to ensure contrast in all conditions (black background to be seen over brighter images, white text over darker ones). 

What happens to the video when the transcript window is resized in full-screen mode?

The video should scale to adapt to the space available (at the same time that the user drags the bar), maintaining its ratio.

Why offer users the ability to make transcript window shorter in full-screen mode?

Maybe he wants to see less text to improve readability. For instance, in case of some cognitive disabilities. In fact, the usefulness of this option should be tested, so maybe it can be ignored if increasing the development complexity, because is an add-on. 

How does resizable video/transcript interact with resizable browser window?

The transcript column and the video should resize proportionally to the browser window. That means that they should maintain the same ratio. 

In the case of horizontal layout, it will switch automatically to the vertical layout if the browser window is too narrow (640px width or less)

In the case of vertical layout, it will switch automatically to the horizontal layout if the browser window height is too small (640px height or less)

We aren't sure how well we will be able to automatically resize the video when resizing transcript in full-screen mode. Does anyone know much about this?

In part 3 (Behaviors). It is said : In case the user has selected other than the lower quality, the loading bar will be divided in two areas:- the lowest (faster) quality progress in grey,- the selected quality progress in blue.Does that mean we load 2 different video quality at the same time? If yes why that?

That's for the case of slow connections. Maybe the user prefers seeing all the video in high quality, but he still wants to be able to continue seeing the video in slow quality if the download is too slow.  

How should we notify users when an error occurs?

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