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Dynamic subtitles: the user experience.

Brown, Andy; Jones, Rhia; Crabb, Michael; Sandford, James; Brooks, Matthew; Armstrong, Mike; Jay, Caroline


Andy Brown

Rhia Jones

Michael Crabb

James Sandford

Matthew Brooks

Mike Armstrong

Caroline Jay


Subtitles (closed captions) on television are typically placed at the bottom-centre of the screen. However, placing subtitles in varying positions, according to the underlying video content ('dynamic subtitles'), has the potential to make the overall viewing experience less disjointed and more immersive. This paper describes the testing of such subtitles with hearing-impaired users, and a new analysis of previously collected eye-tracking data. The qualitative data demonstrates that dynamic subtitles can lead to an improved User Experience, although not for all types of subtitle user. The eye-tracking data was analysed to compare the gaze patterns of subtitle users with a baseline of those for people viewing without subtitles. It was found that gaze patterns of people watching dynamic subtitles were closer to the baseline than those of people watching with traditional subtitles. Finally, some of the factors that need to be considered when authoring dynamic subtitles are discussed.

Start Date Jun 3, 2015
Publication Date Jun 5, 2015
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery
Pages 103-112
Institution Citation BROWN, A., JONES, R., CRABB, M., SANDFORD, J., BROOKS, M., ARMSTRONG, M. and JAY, C. 2015. Dynamic subtitles: the user experience. In Proceedings of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) International conference on interactive experiences for TV and online video (TVX 2015), 03-05 June 2015, Brussels, Belgium. New York: ACM [online], pages 103-112. Available from:
Keywords Accessibility; Attention approximation; Eye tracking; User experience; HCI; Subtitles; TV


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