On alternatives

Reading Time: < 1 minute

This is for everyone

Tim Berners-Lee

As a content author myself – I am, actually writing this, with fingers – I know it can be hard to choose how to provide alternative text for non-text content.

Do you go full-on and launch into a full description of the image? Or is just a brief alt=”cat” sufficient?

Delicate white blossoms against blue sky.
Tree blossom

So, how would you choose to describe this image to someone who can’t see it?

I gave it a <caption>Tree blossom</caption>, and alt=”Delicate white tree blossom against a clear blue Spring sky”.

Is that perfect? Probably not.

I don’t pretend to understand the lived experience of people whose experience is not like mine.

Then I stumbled across this article on the w3c website.

And I thought, “this looks handy“.

And it is.

But I thought it could be handier.

So, first of all I walked through this in Miro. More a logic flow than anything.

My ambition was to code something on codepen (or glitch, heroku, whatevs) by the end of the week.

Long story short: I tried using the XGovFormBuilder heroku app but it kinda … well, just forgot everything I had tried the next day.

So. Resorted to my old pal Codepen. Good ol’ HTML, CSS and javascript. Then I later refactored it to run on this blog.

Alt-text decide-o-matic

I'm a service designer in Scottish Enterprise's unsurprisingly-named service design team. I've been a content designer, editor, UX designer and giant haystacks developer on the web for (gulp) over 25 years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.