User experience design agency Nomensa recently celebrated 10 years in the industry by releasing the source code of its accessible media player to the public. The organisation says its player is "extremely versatile, supporting standard multimedia content (MP3/MP4/FLV), as well as content hosted on YouTube or Vimeo", and we spoke to Lonie Watson (LW), Nomensa director of accessibility, to gain some insight into how the player came to be and why designers should consider using it.
.net: What's the background behind the player?
LW: It began as a project to solve a problem. Talking to our clients, we knew there was a need for a customisable and accessible web-based media player. We realised website owners wanted to pull in content from multiple sources and also give site visitors a consistent experience. When we began working on our player, we weren't aware of any players that could pull in content from different sources and offer good accessibility at the same time.
.net: Why did you make your efforts open-source?
LW: Because we're into humanising technology. We wanted to try and remove one of the barriers that prevent disabled people from consuming multimedia content, and to do it in a way that could be enjoyed by everyone. We also want to make the player as good as it can be. We figured the best way to do that would be to open it up for scrutiny, and welcome new features, bug fixes and extensions from other people as well as our own.
.net: Why should designers consider using the player over any others they already work with? What advantages does it bring?
.net: How future-proof is the player in terms of coding and format support?
And making it open source is another way we hope the player will be future-proof. If people find it useful and decide it's worth contributing to, then we hope it will continue to evolve to meet the future.