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Choosing The Best Custom Video Backgrounds

Recently I was in an audio call in which the person had enabled a customized background video that was created to allow users to concentrate on the speaker . However, it ended up becoming very distracting for me since I am who has low vision. the dim light conditions for the speaker coupled and the bright background made it so that it was difficult for me to clearly see the speaker, and it resulted in my eyes hurting until I had to turn off video. But I was on another meeting where the custom background helped me concentrate more on the speaker, and also allowed me to concentrate far better than I could without the background. Here are my recommendations for selecting the best custom video backgrounds for low-vision viewers on platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams.

Why would you want to use custom backgrounds?

Although it might sound like I don’t like all background videos that are custom-designed, but I think that they are an extremely beneficial tool if employed keeping accessibility design principles keeping accessibility in mind. The benefits of having custom video backgrounds are:

Blocking the background noise or background people
In assisting audiences to focus on the speaker and not what is happening behind them.
Be careful not to share private information which could show up in the background
It will make users appear more professional, based what background they select
Demonstrate your art or design capabilities

The way custom backgrounds are designed can cause confusion for low-vision viewers

While a custom background video Banuba can be beneficial for people with low vision, they can be extremely confusing at times. A few ways custom video backgrounds could be confusing are:

With bright or busy designs which can be hard to concentrate on
Certain patterns, particularly small ones, may trigger vertigo in certain audiences.
It is based on their background that it may be difficult to tell exactly where the person is
Lighting conditions that are not optimal can be more evident and offer inadequate contrast to backgrounds
Backgrounds might not render properly and can cause undesirable visual effects.

If you can, choose images or colors that have a high contrast

The most important thing to remember when it comes to choosing the right video backgrounds for low-vision viewers is to select pictures and colors that offer excellent clarity between your speaker and background. Although I’m unable to recommend an all-purpose background that works in every scenario, it’s crucial to make sure the background image doesn’t be a distraction to clothes or hair, and that the speaker is in front of in the center. Browse through Pantone color shades with Google Images can be a fantastic way to identify an appropriate color to match the speaker. I’ve tried Classic Blue in a few calls, and it’s the Pantone color of the year for 2020.

Avoid backgrounds that are primarily neon or white.

In a conference that which I was a part of, the speaker used a blank white background which was difficult to stare at for extended periods of time as well as caused my eyes to become exhausted quite quickly. A friend of mine experienced the same issue when their professor gave the class on a vibrant green backdrop, and they had to shut off their computer and sit through the remainder of the lecture due to the colors were so bright. Intense or bright colors for prolonged periods could cause migraines in certain audiences and it’s best to stay clear of them when feasible.

Do not use backgrounds that contain pictures of people.

One of the major advantages of customizing backgrounds for video is they make it easier to concentrate on the speaker. Therefore, using backgrounds that contain pictures of faces or people could make it even harder to focus. A student I had the privilege of working with was talking to me about how her teacher had created an individual background with pictures of all the students in their class behind them. They were unable to focus on the hand gestures that their teacher was using because the faces were all over displayed on the screen.
The most effective backgrounds to choose from

Some of the most popular kinds of custom-made video backgrounds for low-vision viewers are:

Nature images with high-resolution
Simple color swatches
Images or patterns that soothe, or images
Black background with accent colors
Northern lights
Photos of rooms that are currently in use as offices (one of my acquaintances took a picture from the program “The Office” to illustrate this)
Rice paper patterns
Pictures of walls

Users can locate images that match their requirements by searching these keywords in Google Images or similar websitesI would suggest keeping images in a folder or a gallery for ease of access.

Summary of the best way to choose the best custom-made video backgrounds for low-vision viewers

Custom backgrounds can aid users to block out unclean backgrounds or individuals in the background. This helps in keeping privacy and maintaining a professional look.
The custom backgrounds could be confusing for those with low vision when they are cluttered with patterns poor lighting conditions, contrast, or aren’t rendered correctly and begin to flicker
If you can, choose images or colors that have a excellent contrast
Beware of backgrounds that are predominantly neon or white.
Avoid backgrounds that contain photos of people.
The most effective types of backgrounds to choose are photos of rooms or walls simple colors or patterns and patterns that soothe or similar options