WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

RE: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?


From: John Foliot - bytown internet
Date: Aug 21, 2002 5:23AM

The thread has divided into two

1) the concept of using a phrase such as "FooBar Logo" as Alt Text for an
image. From my understanding, most users will understand what is meant when
we use alt text such as that, although it has been suggested that the logo
be descibed in more detail at least once on the site:
<.img alt="Nike Logo - a small swoosh similar to a checkmark, usually blue
(and worth millions)"> (artistic license to keep things light!) Other
solutions would be to provide a detailed description as text on one of your
pages (Mission Statement, Corporate History, etc.) and/or provide a LONGDESC

2) my push on whether there is any value or impedements introduced when
wrapping alt text in bracket containers [and I use square ones]. Here,
there is a potential issue if the [alt text value] is also being used to
indicate a hyperlink as screen readers *may* attempt to sort a links list by
the first character ("["), although at least one posting indicated that IBM
HPR ignored the sqaure brackets (Feedback from a JAWS user would be
welcome). It occurs to me that one could use:
<.a href=""><.img alt="[Photo - Skiddlefat]" title="Skiddlefat's web
page"></a> to resolve that issue.

As you have noted, there was a lot of traffic on this topic, but there
doesn't seem to be a resolution, although Jukka has summed it up well:
> (In fact, in the pragmatic side, there are three types of alt texts: alt
> text that just describes the image; alt text that communicates
> verbally the
> same thing as the image; and alt text that _partially_
> communicates the same
> thing as the image, hopefully the most important information. For example,
> it might not be useful for a pie chart alt text to present _all_ the
> information, down to the items with fractions of percentage.)
> Images that say more than a thousand words would seldom be links,
> except in
> contexts like a photo gallery where they are thumbnails (and then it might
> actually be useful to sort their alt texts as different from
> normal links on
> the page). If there would be some need to make the pie chart image a link,
> it's probably better to use a separate textual link instead.

As far as surrounding alt text in square brackets, I have not been presented
with a compelling reason not to, I have had at least one other agree that it
was a *good* idea and so I personally will continue. I had hoped at one
point to try and push this a little harder, but there did not seem to be any
real concencus. Oh well.


To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/