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Re: [External Sender][EXTERNAL] Image alt text for multiple product views on retail websites


From: Greg Jellin
Date: Sep 26, 2019 7:50AM

Great feedback Mark and Brian! Really appreciate your time.

Mark, yeah, we are concerned about the feasibility of our client being
able to implement a solution that provides good, consistent, accurate
alt text. This client has 10s of thousands of products across many
sites. I don't believe they have the capacity to author alt text for
every product view. The most feasible scenario would be a programmatic
approach that pulls the product title/desc. from the database. I don't
think that would be very helpful for users.

And Brian, spot on. The relevant details of the product are all in text
form on the page. The title  and description of the product, the
selected color (and color choices), etc.

Our goal here is to ensure we are providing what would be useful for
users and at the same time we are complying with WCAG. It is also
important that whatever our recommendation, it is feasible.

My hunch is that users will gain no benefit from providing alt text on
the various product views. I am considering recommending hiding the
entire product view feature from screen readers, as it appears that
Amazon does. All relevant information would be available in text.


On 9/26/2019 5:29 AM, Brian Lovely via WebAIM-Forum wrote:
> Hey Greg,
> "man wearing..." is likely to not be useful if you're in the section of the
> site devoted to men's clothing. Another way of looking at it is if every
> picture description starts with "man wearing" is it really useful in
> describing the purpose of any one unique image?
> Mark is right in that (for clothing) the most important info is the style,
> pattern, and color. For a vacuum cleaner or coffee maker, I would assume
> the features are already described in text, so alt="Black and Decker Coffee
> Maker Model 4598" is not really useful information that the user can't
> already get from page content. Many of the images would best be hidden from
> screen readers to reduce noise.
> Again, if the style, pattern, and color of a garment is already provided in
> page text, then the image is decorative and should be provided with an alt
> attribute set to a null value.
> It's a subtle art, and there's no one size fits all solution.
> >
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