I'm developing an app that automatically captions photos. One of the main results of a usability survey was that users would insert a funny personalized comment in their captions.

In order to give a personalized feel to the computer generated captions, I was thinking about having a fixed set of "funny comments" and randomly add one to each caption.

Captions have the following template:

<name1> <name2> and <name3> <smiling> near <place> during <event>. <month> '<year>, <city>. <funny_comment>

Kate, Pete and John smiling near Big Ben during the City of London Festival. Jul '10, London.

I was thinking about adding,

  • Great photo!
  • Very artistic!
  • Lookin' great!
  • Beautiful!
  • Inspirational
  • <event> was better last year...
  • I love this place
  • [if <month> is winter] it's getting cold
  • [if <smiling>] <name> is quite happy in this one

Is there a better way to go about this? What else could I add as funny personalized comment? Users can naturally edit the generated captions.

2 Answers 2


Ask your users! :)

Why not do an exercise where you ask your users (the ones who actually add captions to their photos) to go through 50 of their photos and tell you all the captions they have used and the frequency of each one?

I also wonder how many times I would want to add the same caption to multiple photos (except may be great photo). Captions are very likely to be contextual. By doing above exercise if you (and your users) find that there are no captions that occur repeatedly then you know that having fixed captions may not be the most useful thing, except if you want to please a lot of people a couple of times, since a lot of people may say "great photo" a couple of times at least.


If your app does at least one mistake, user will stop to love it or (s)he will be disappointed on it. Be aware on applying so fun functionality (or be so huge like google to harvest user's statistics).

  • Would no caption be preferable to a slightly incorrect one from a user experience point of view?
    – siamii
    Sep 10, 2011 at 2:03

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