Adding alt-text to images on websites and other digital products began in the mid-1990s. Simply stated, alt-text is wording added to an image that describes that image. It helps those who cannot see images in their web browsers know what the image represents. Consequently, the quality of your alt-text is crucial, and that quality is largely reliant on your process. Let’s look at four questions to consider as you develop your alt-text process. 1. Who is the alt-text for? As you develop your process for adding alt-text to images, consider your audience. Alt-text is mostly for those who use screen readers due to some level of vision impairment. Others who might benefit from alt-text are those with slower internet connections that create a slower loading time for images. To develop the most effective alt-text process for your organization, take the time to define your alt-text audience. In the long run, this will help you tailor your approach and create consistent alt-text that reaches those individuals. 2. What images need alt-text? It might seem like all images [...]
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. [...]
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