AD case study: extended description

In this example, the radio drama presentation style is interspersed with additional audio giving background information not directly linked to the plot. 

The aim is to add depth for users who cannot engage visually with the content.

For example, in the first episode of Holy Land, the first extended track describes the main presenter of the documentary series, her attire and the general landscape through the series. The objective is to set the scene for the viewer.

Try extended AD on the ImAc Player

Holy Land E01 E, Holy Land E02 E, Holy Land E03 E

Content credit: Verizon Media

Unlike the other two modes, in the extended description test, it was up to the viewer whether to trigger the extended descriptions beyond the first instance. In order to trigger, the viewer tapped the mousepad twice after hearing a short beep that indicated the presence of an extended description track. Once triggered, the main video was paused for the duration for the extended description and continue once it had ended.

The duration of tracks varied between 20 - 45 seconds and gave additional information on those aspects of the video that were not crucial for understanding the story but helped build familiarity with different aspects of the content.

Participants suggested what else could be done to make the experience more immersive. 

“They needed to be more immersive – add sound effects to it – like you did for the radio drama – The soundscape has to be meaningful and it wasn’t here. Mix of historical facts and context – I can see the benefit of it but has to be treated better [for continuity].” 

Most participants felt that while extended description added to the overall feel of the content, it would probably not work for the content they watched on TV. Gaming, immersive tours of museums and heritage sites were given as examples of where this presentation mode could work well.