Google Research

Widget Captioning: Generating Natural Language Description for Mobile User Interface Elements

EMNLP 2020 (2020)

Abstract

Natural language descriptions of user interface (UI) elements such as alternative text are crucial for accessibility and language-based interaction in general. Yet, these descriptions are constantly missing in mobile UIs. We propose widget captioning, a novel task for automatically generating language descriptions for UI elements from multimodal input including both the image and the structural representations of user interfaces. We collected a largescale dataset for widget captioning with crowdsourcing. Our dataset contains 162,859 language phrases created by human workers for annotating 61,285 UI elements across 21,750 unique UI screens. We thoroughly analyze the dataset, and train and evaluate a set of deep model configurations to investigate how each feature modality as well as the choice of learning strategies impact the quality of predicted captions. The task formulation and the dataset as well as our benchmark models contribute a solid basis for this novel multimodal captioning task that connects language and user interfaces.

Learn more about how we do research

We maintain a portfolio of research projects, providing individuals and teams the freedom to emphasize specific types of work