Multimedia - design pattern

Multimedia is time-based media of a visual or auditory nature that complements or enhances text, including video clips and audio recordings.

When to use this pattern

How to use this pattern

  • Size and place multimedia appropriately for the context it is in. Embedded multimedia must appear connected to the content, and complement it
  • Do not place multimedia in line with text blocks, for example within a paragraph; place them in between text blocks instead
  • Where multimedia includes people, it should reflect Canada’s diverse population
  • Embedded multimedia must appear square or rectangular
  • Use only the WET multimedia player, which provides accessible playback controls
  • Always include descriptive transcripts accompanying multimedia content – place the link to the transcript immediately under the multimedia
  • The link must point to a separate page for longer transcripts or open a details-summary element for shorter transcripts
  • Where additional captions and attributions are required, place them immediately under the link to the transcript for the multimedia that they refer to
  • Align links, captions or attributions with the left edge of the embedded multimedia that they refer to
  • Avoid using multimedia from sources outside the Government of Canada


  • Institutions are responsible for the proper use of multimedia purchased through a licensing agreement
  • If the multimedia is licensed only to one institution, it can only be used by that institution on
  • Read the licensing agreement carefully for any other restrictions on the use of purchased multimedia
  • Verify that you have the appropriate rights to publish multimedia on, specifically:
    • get a signed release from a person (or legal guardian) before you publish any representation of him or her
    • have documentation showing you have the appropriate rights to publish licensed (or rights-managed) multimedia
  • Multimedia that is no longer licensed for use by an institution must be removed from

Working example


Multimedia player pattern
Screenshot illustrating the multimedia player pattern embedded on a generic page on Details on this graphic can be found in the surrounding text.

1: WET media player


The video and audio player components of the Web Experience Toolkit have been developed and tested to meet coding and accessibility standards. No other multimedia players are permitted on

2: Transcript


All video and audio posted to must include a written transcript immediately following the WET player.

Shorter transcripts should be placed on the same page following the player, while longer transcripts can be hidden inside a details/summary element or placed on a separate page. When placing the transcript on a separate page, a link must appear in this spot which leads to the page containing the transcript.

3: Captions or descriptions


Captions, descriptions or attributions associated with multimedia content must be placed after the link to the transcript, left-aligned to the edge of the WET player.

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