WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: Web accessibility and usability


From: Cheyrl D. Wise
Date: Oct 31, 2004 6:40PM

While for people on high bandwidth connections with no visual difficulties
the alt tag does not add to usability in way that I can see but for people
on low bandwidth connections where graphic navigation is used it can be very
useful since it allow them to navigate the site before the graphics
completely download. This is particularly useful when a person has visited a
site before and knows where they want to go but does not know the exact page
name (in other words no bookmark).

I haven't looked at the metrics you mentioned so the above is subjective but
based on observation of people on dial-up connections who are frustrated
when they have to wait for a graphics heavy site to download when all they
want to do is get to an internal page on the site.

Cheryl D. Wise
Certified Professional Web Developer
713.353.0139 Office

-----Original Message-----
From: alg230

While reviewing www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/benefits.html that you suggested, I
came across a very helpful table that summarizes checkpoints that contribute
to different design categories including: usability, public search engine,
low bandwidth, support low literacy, and semantic web.

Checkpoint 1.1 Provide text equivalent for non-text element was listed as
contributing to usability, and other categories including public search
engine and low bandwidth.

I can understand how &quot;alt&quot; attributes benefit search engine results and
users with low bandwidth, but I wasn't clear on how it is important for
usability for people without disabilities. Does anyone have opinions on

It is my hope to demonstrate that accessibility efforts also improve the
experience of users without disabilities. I'm planning to do some usability
tests with visually impaired users and then users without disabilities.

Would anyone anticipate the presence of &quot;alt&quot; as improving the experience of
users without disabilities (in terms of any of the metrics noted on
UsableNet: time, number of errors, success rate, and subjective rating)?