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Re: Alt Text

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From: Tim Harshbarger
Date: Feb 25, 2010 4:06PM


My personal opinion is if you need a definitive answer on how good an alt text is for a specific purpose, you will need to conduct user testing.

If you do not conduct user testing (for whatever reason,) then you need to educate yourself the best you can about how the user will experience the alt text, understand how the image is being used, and construct the best alt text you can. It seems that most of the time that approach leads to adequate results. If you want to do better than adequate, then you need to seriously consider user testing.

I agree with Jared about the visual appearance of alt text. I also recognize that if you are implementing a site or web app today, you will have to deal with browsers as they handle it now. So, do what you need to do to make it accessible today, but also work on the people developing the user agents so that they produce a better user experience tomorrow.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE A USER AGENT ATHEIST? If there is, I might consider becoming one after spending a day trying to make something accessible despite a seeming ocean of user agent quirks. :)

Tim