22 02, 2018

5 Characteristics of the Best Alt-Texts

By | 2018-02-26T18:57:37+00:00 February 22nd, 2018|504, Alternative Text, education, Instructional Design|0 Comments

For a student who is visually impaired, alt-text descriptions are very important pieces of information. And when these descriptions are well-written, they can provide information just as effectively as the image they describe. So what makes an alt-text description effective? Here are five important characteristics they share: 1. Overall Brevity It's important to remember that an alt-text description will be "heard" and not "seen." Because of this, the description should be as short as possible while still describing all of the critical information. A shorter description is easier for the listener to process than a longer one would be. If a description gets too lengthy, the listener's attention might waver, and they may get confused. 2. Short, Simple Sentences Not only should the overall description be as concise as possible, but the sentences themselves should be short and simple. Typically, long sentences can be split into two or more short sentences that will be easier to understand and process. Also, the description should try to avoid repeating lengthy words or phrases over and over again. [...]

1 02, 2018

4 Questions to Ask Before Writing an Alt-Text Description

By | 2018-02-08T21:14:38+00:00 February 1st, 2018|Alternative Text, education, Instructional Design|0 Comments

When preparing to create an alt-text description, there are several questions a writer should analyze before getting started. Having the answers to these questions will allow the writer to craft a more effective description. 1. What is the purpose of the image? Different types of images are used for different purposes. Maybe it's a graph that conveys a relationship between two or more numerical quantities. Or maybe it's a photograph showing some type of equipment for a procedure. Or it could be a flow chart or other diagram that details a structure or process. Understanding the purpose of an image allows the writer to determine critical information that must be included in the description. Download the Checklist - 6 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Alt-Text 2. Which information can be omitted (if any)? Is the layout or arrangement of the information critical to understanding the image? Are descriptions such as shape, color, and size important to the message of the image? If not, maybe these types of details can be omitted from the description. For [...]

2 11, 2017

3 Tips for Writing Terrific Alt Text Descriptions

By | 2017-11-02T17:11:21+00:00 November 2nd, 2017|Alternative Text|0 Comments

Alt text, or alternative text, is one of the critical components of good content design. For those newer to the topic, alt text sometimes is referred to as alt attributes, alt descriptions, or alt tags. Great instructional designers, course developers, and content writers keep the audience in mind as they develop content- and that includes associated images! Why is alt text important? Screen Readers Individuals relying on screen readers will use the alt attribute so they can interpret visual information as well as text. A lot of thought goes into the decision to use particular images- and that effort should continue over onto the alt text design to convey meaning effectively. Imagine reading a course question about a map showing a geographic location. Without a well-written alt text description the user is left wondering and unable to access all of the course content. Unloaded Image Files If an image file cannot be loaded the user is also left to wonder what information and context might have been provided by the broken image link. Indexing Alt text [...]