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

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Number of posts in this thread: 11 (In chronological order)

From: Jukka Korpela
Date: Mon, Aug 19 2002 12:05AM
Subject: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?
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The way I've understood the purpose of ALT attributes, such an attribute
should provide a text that can be used in place of the image, carrying out
the same function as the image has when displayed and seen. In the optimal
case, the ALT attribute should in no way say a word _about_ the image.
Treating an ALT attribute as "description of the image" tends to lead to
confusion and absurdity, as demonstrated e.g. by the howlers at
http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/alt/alt-text.html

But to my disappointment, even the W3C material (including HTML
specifications and WAI recommendations) is rather vague and potentially
misleading here. And having read the official Section 508 rules guide,
http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/guide/1194.22.htm
I'm even more disappointed. The Section 508 rules are in many ways more
practically oriented and easier to grasp than WCAG, but the _first_ rule
almost drives me into madness. It begins with '(a) A text equivalent for
every non-text element shall be provided (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc", or in
element content)', which is fine (except that "longdesc" shouldn't really be
marketed as an _alternative_ to "alt" even implicitly), but the first
example is
<img src="art/logo-green.gif" alt="Access Board Logo">
And later they even _repeat_ this example in another context, and give this
even stranger example:
<img src="image/ab_logo1.gif" alt="The Architectural and Transportation
Barriers Compliance Board emblem-Go to Access Board website"
which is said to appear at http://www.section508.gov/ where it doesn't
appear, as far as I can tell. But that example is repeated in different
documents around the Web.

What about W3C WAI, http://www.w3.org/WAI/ ? On Lynx, we get a page that
starts with

W3C logo Web Accessibility Initiative logo skip navigation bar WAI

In an E-mail discussion about "this-or-that logo" in ALT texts, a person
with very good understanding of accessibility told me that logos are an
exception. He wrote (to formulate what I understood, the way I'd say it if I
agreed) that the "logo" concept is universal and not just visual, and
everyone knows that "this-or-that logo" means 'this page has a this-or-that
stamp on it', i.e. belongs to the official this-or-that site.

As a practical note, such information is hardly needed if the page itself
says, e.g. in a heading or its first paragraph, that it is an official
this-or-that page, in some wording.

But as a compact indication of belonging to a site, logos might be useful.
The question arises what to use as ALT texts when other content of the page
does not make the situation clear enough so that we can use alt="". If
images were not used at all (imagine e.g. that you are constructing a site
for FooBar, without having a FooBar logo designed yet), would you write text
like "FooBar logo" to indicate that the page belongs to the FooBar site? I'd
bet you would write something like "This page is part of the official FooBar
site." So why not use that as the textual alternative for a logo image? It
says in words what the logo says in graphic. But embedding that information
into other texts and using alt="" for logo images is even better, if you ask
me.

--
Jukka Korpela, senior adviser
TIEKE Finnish Information Society Development Centre
http://www.tieke.fi
Phone: +358 9 4763 0397 Fax: +358 9 4763 0399


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From: kynn@idyllmtn.com
Date: Mon, Aug 26 2002 4:18PM
Subject: Re: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?
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It's hard to come up with a general "best rule" for alt text, since in
many cases it's a matter of style. If you made a test of 10 different
images and asked 10 different accessibility "experts" to provide alt
text, you will likely get 10 different sets of answers.

The key, I think, is to cultivate the mindset whereby Web authors take
alt text into consideration, and not necessarily insist on one person's
view of "the perfect alt text" for each image. In nearly every case,
it is better to have tried and put what YOU think is appropriate --
based on your knowledge of assistive technology -- than to attempt to
please everyone with "the perfect answer."

In fact, you can get different answers from different blind folks as
well. If you are looking for perfection, you will fail, since you won't
be able to please all of the folks all of the time.

If you are looking for usability, however, that is fairly easily
accomplished and will provide heightened access to a huge number of
people who would be otherwise without.

It is good to consider what the "best" alt text is. It is more
important to have a "decent" alt text than to achieve this mythical
"perfect" one.

--Kynn

PS: Okay, I will address the real issue instead of merely the meta-
issue. Consider a page which has logo, such as the HTML Writers
Guild's site. The logo is a button which reads "HTML Writers
Guild." Then you've got an <h1> with the same text. What should
the alt text be?

Answer: It doesn't matter as long as it's within the realm of
sensibility. You shouldn't strive for "the perfect alt
text" because no such beast exists, but you should be
consistent and thoughtful in your stylistic choice.

Here's some choices you could make in this case:

1. The alt text could be alt="HTML Writers Guild". In nearly
any situation where an image contains actual text, the alt
text is likely just that text itself. Drawback? The page
now reads as "HTML Writers Guild HTML Writers Guild" because
there's already an <h1> with that very alt text.

2. The alt text could be alt="[HTML Writers Guild Logo]". (I
think this is what it is currently.) This identifies the logo
as more than simply the WORDS "HTML Writers Guild", and the
identification of the image as a logo provides context as to
the function of the image. It's an identifier, and may even
prove to be a link of value. Remember that on many Web sites,
the logo in the upper left corner is a link that returns you to
the top page.

3. Keeping that in mind, one could conceivably set the alt text
to alt="Back to HWG homepage" -- this is a less than optimal
solution, though, because while it identifies the link function,
it's not really valid alt text. The "Back to HWG homepage"
text belongs in the title attribute of the link.

Aside: The HWG logo is indeed a link to the HWG homepage on
every page on the site, save for the homepage itself.
On the home page, the link goes to the information page
which tells you how to use the logo -- so in that case
(and that case alone), the proposed alt text in #2
may be the most accurate!

4. It's redundant and unnecessary to repeat "HTML Writers Guild",
so maybe this is just decorative text. So let's just set it
to alt="". We can put a title on it as per #3. The drawback
is that the link function can easily get lost, especially in
a browser such as Lynx, if the alt text is null or alt=" "
(space).

5. There's also a problem with #1, #2, and #3 in that they put this
logo's alt text before the headline. The headline really should
come first on the page. This image is just part of the
navigation bar, which is a secondary part of the page information
visually, but its prominence in the markup makes it the first
thing read by the screenreader. The page should instead be laid
out using CSS for positioning, so that the headline comes first
in the markup, and the logo -- with alt text of your choice --
is down in the secondary (or tertiary!) navigation where it
belongs. Approach #5 can be combined with any of #1 to #4
above, and you will notice that the new location will indeed
affect how you view the appropriateness of various alt text.

So what's best? Again, it's a matter of style. It's more important
that you think about it and apply your decision consistently. If
you do that much, I will be happy.


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From: Holly Marie
Date: Mon, Aug 19 2002 1:15AM
Subject: Re: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?
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I do believe or feel it is important to describe that image as a logo,
and when it is a link describe that function.

Question are the opening and closing brackets read or spoken in the
example of:

[Acme] ?

wouldn't "Acme Logo" be explanatory enough

src="acme.gif" alt="Acme Logo" title="link for home page"

"Back to home page" may be a bit confusing if the user arrives at an
inside page as the first page?

===

As far as semantics or structure of a document go, along the lines of
header notation, I wonder if it is a bit extreme to expect the header to
be the very first item of the document page?

With print media, and business documents, it is not unusual for a header
to be listed visually after a header, formally.

On another note, web site banners or ads before headers may be a bigger
gripe to complain about.

===


Another reason to define the image as a logo, may be the case where
someone asks another who may not see or has images off for whatever
reason - access issues or not - "Does this company hav a logo?", that
other person will be able to answer that question if they have seen such
notation or description. (so alt=" " may not be the best solution or
idea.)

Logos may be easy and important symbolic identifiers for a company or
group, and it may be a good idea to report these as such - even for non
reading populations[literacy issues], who may also use screen readers to
access web content.

holly



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From: John Foliot - bytown internet
Date: Mon, Aug 19 2002 4:38AM
Subject: RE: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?
← Previous message | Next message →

Kynn Wrote:

> Here's some choices you could make in this case:
<snip>
>
> 2. The alt text could be alt="[HTML Writers Guild Logo]". (I
> think this is what it is currently.) This identifies the logo
> as more than simply the WORDS "HTML Writers Guild", and the
> identification of the image as a logo provides context as to
> the function of the image. It's an identifier, and may even
> prove to be a link of value. Remember that on many Web sites,
> the logo in the upper left corner is a link that returns you to
> the top page.

I recently employed a similar solution on a page where there were a number
of photographs of rock bands accompanying press releases
(http://www.zaphodbeeblebrox.com) The basic structure was:

<.h1>Rock Band</h1>
<.p><.img ... alt="[Photo - Rock Band]">
Rock Band is the best band ever...</p>

... so clearly I needed to find a way of differentiating the various uses of
"Rock Band" in this content to separate the logic. In a text only browser
you still get:

Rock Band
[Photo - Rock Band]Rock Band is the best band ever...

Query: how do most list members feel about enclosing alt text within the
square brackets as noted above? Does it pose any accessibility issues with
any of the alternative devices out there? (I can't think of any) Is it
"annoying" to non-visual users employing speech synthesisers on a regular
basis? Could it be a "Best Practices" recommendation floated to the Working
Group of WCAG (v2) and other Accessibility organizations?

JF


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From: Darold Lindquist
Date: Mon, Aug 19 2002 5:22AM
Subject: RE: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?
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From the perspective of a screen reader/speech user, I do not believe that
enclosing alt text in square brackets would pose an accessibility problem,
but it doesn't add any value to the page accessibility either. Generally
speaking, web browsing could be categorized as a reading activity. Screen
readers give the user a lot of control over how much if any punctuation
and/or symbols are spoken. In this context most screen reader users would
turn off or limit the speaking of punctuation marks and symbols since they
are reading for content not editing. So the only indicators of punctuation
in this scenario are communicated to the user through pauses or speech
inflection. Symbols such as the square brackets would not be communicated
to the user. The only way they would become aware of their presence would
be if they reviewed the alt text description letter by letter.

Darold

At 07:32 AM 8/19/02, you wrote:
>Query: how do most list members feel about enclosing alt text within the
>square brackets as noted above? Does it pose any accessibility issues with
>any of the alternative devices out there? (I can't think of any) Is it
>"annoying" to non-visual users employing speech synthesisers on a regular
>basis? Could it be a "Best Practices" recommendation floated to the Working
>Group of WCAG (v2) and other Accessibility organizations?
>
>JF


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From: Jon Gunderson
Date: Mon, Aug 19 2002 1:24PM
Subject: Re: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?
← Previous message | Next message →

Here are some resources I have created for helping people create ALT
descriptions:

http://cita.rehab.uiuc.edu/design/design-images-short.html
http://cita.rehab.uiuc.edu/design/design-images-long.html

Jon


On Mon, 19 Aug 2002 = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = wrote:

> It's hard to come up with a general "best rule" for alt text, since in
> many cases it's a matter of style. If you made a test of 10 different
> images and asked 10 different accessibility "experts" to provide alt
> text, you will likely get 10 different sets of answers.
>
> The key, I think, is to cultivate the mindset whereby Web authors take
> alt text into consideration, and not necessarily insist on one person's
> view of "the perfect alt text" for each image. In nearly every case,
> it is better to have tried and put what YOU think is appropriate --
> based on your knowledge of assistive technology -- than to attempt to
> please everyone with "the perfect answer."
>
> In fact, you can get different answers from different blind folks as
> well. If you are looking for perfection, you will fail, since you won't
> be able to please all of the folks all of the time.
>
> If you are looking for usability, however, that is fairly easily
> accomplished and will provide heightened access to a huge number of
> people who would be otherwise without.
>
> It is good to consider what the "best" alt text is. It is more
> important to have a "decent" alt text than to achieve this mythical
> "perfect" one.
>
> --Kynn
>
> PS: Okay, I will address the real issue instead of merely the meta-
> issue. Consider a page which has logo, such as the HTML Writers
> Guild's site. The logo is a button which reads "HTML Writers
> Guild." Then you've got an <h1> with the same text. What should
> the alt text be?
>
> Answer: It doesn't matter as long as it's within the realm of
> sensibility. You shouldn't strive for "the perfect alt
> text" because no such beast exists, but you should be
> consistent and thoughtful in your stylistic choice.
>
> Here's some choices you could make in this case:
>
> 1. The alt text could be alt="HTML Writers Guild". In nearly
> any situation where an image contains actual text, the alt
> text is likely just that text itself. Drawback? The page
> now reads as "HTML Writers Guild HTML Writers Guild" because
> there's already an <h1> with that very alt text.
>
> 2. The alt text could be alt="[HTML Writers Guild Logo]". (I
> think this is what it is currently.) This identifies the logo
> as more than simply the WORDS "HTML Writers Guild", and the
> identification of the image as a logo provides context as to
> the function of the image. It's an identifier, and may even
> prove to be a link of value. Remember that on many Web sites,
> the logo in the upper left corner is a link that returns you to
> the top page.
>
> 3. Keeping that in mind, one could conceivably set the alt text
> to alt="Back to HWG homepage" -- this is a less than optimal
> solution, though, because while it identifies the link function,
> it's not really valid alt text. The "Back to HWG homepage"
> text belongs in the title attribute of the link.
>
> Aside: The HWG logo is indeed a link to the HWG homepage on
> every page on the site, save for the homepage itself.
> On the home page, the link goes to the information page
> which tells you how to use the logo -- so in that case
> (and that case alone), the proposed alt text in #2
> may be the most accurate!
>
> 4. It's redundant and unnecessary to repeat "HTML Writers Guild",
> so maybe this is just decorative text. So let's just set it
> to alt="". We can put a title on it as per #3. The drawback
> is that the link function can easily get lost, especially in
> a browser such as Lynx, if the alt text is null or alt=" "
> (space).
>
> 5. There's also a problem with #1, #2, and #3 in that they put this
> logo's alt text before the headline. The headline really should
> come first on the page. This image is just part of the
> navigation bar, which is a secondary part of the page information
> visually, but its prominence in the markup makes it the first
> thing read by the screenreader. The page should instead be laid
> out using CSS for positioning, so that the headline comes first
> in the markup, and the logo -- with alt text of your choice --
> is down in the secondary (or tertiary!) navigation where it
> belongs. Approach #5 can be combined with any of #1 to #4
> above, and you will notice that the new location will indeed
> affect how you view the appropriateness of various alt text.
>
> So what's best? Again, it's a matter of style. It's more important
> that you think about it and apply your decision consistently. If
> you do that much, I will be happy.
>
>
> ----
> To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
> visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/
>


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From: Steve Vosloo
Date: Mon, Aug 19 2002 11:44PM
Subject: RE: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?
← Previous message | Next message →

3. Keeping that in mind, one could conceivably set the alt text
to alt="Back to HWG homepage" -- this is a less than optimal
solution, though, because while it identifies the link
function,
it's not really valid alt text. The "Back to HWG homepage"
text belongs in the title attribute of the link.

I've seen this kind of comment before. Is there a general rule about
verbs in ALT tags? For the ALTs on all my images that are links I start
with "Link to ..." Is this wrong? If a logo links you back to the
homepage, then the function of that image is just that -- so why not
describe it as such in the ALT attribute?

Thanks
Steve



-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: 19 August 2002 09:23 AM
To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
Subject: Re: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?


It's hard to come up with a general "best rule" for alt text, since in
many cases it's a matter of style. If you made a test of 10 different
images and asked 10 different accessibility "experts" to provide alt
text, you will likely get 10 different sets of answers.

The key, I think, is to cultivate the mindset whereby Web authors take
alt text into consideration, and not necessarily insist on one person's
view of "the perfect alt text" for each image. In nearly every case, it
is better to have tried and put what YOU think is appropriate --
based on your knowledge of assistive technology -- than to attempt to
please everyone with "the perfect answer."

In fact, you can get different answers from different blind folks as
well. If you are looking for perfection, you will fail, since you won't
be able to please all of the folks all of the time.

If you are looking for usability, however, that is fairly easily
accomplished and will provide heightened access to a huge number of
people who would be otherwise without.

It is good to consider what the "best" alt text is. It is more
important to have a "decent" alt text than to achieve this mythical
"perfect" one.

--Kynn

PS: Okay, I will address the real issue instead of merely the meta-
issue. Consider a page which has logo, such as the HTML Writers
Guild's site. The logo is a button which reads "HTML Writers
Guild." Then you've got an <h1> with the same text. What should
the alt text be?

Answer: It doesn't matter as long as it's within the realm of
sensibility. You shouldn't strive for "the perfect alt
text" because no such beast exists, but you should be
consistent and thoughtful in your stylistic choice.

Here's some choices you could make in this case:

1. The alt text could be alt="HTML Writers Guild". In nearly
any situation where an image contains actual text, the alt
text is likely just that text itself. Drawback? The page
now reads as "HTML Writers Guild HTML Writers Guild" because
there's already an <h1> with that very alt text.

2. The alt text could be alt="[HTML Writers Guild Logo]". (I
think this is what it is currently.) This identifies the logo
as more than simply the WORDS "HTML Writers Guild", and the
identification of the image as a logo provides context as to
the function of the image. It's an identifier, and may even
prove to be a link of value. Remember that on many Web sites,
the logo in the upper left corner is a link that returns you to
the top page.

3. Keeping that in mind, one could conceivably set the alt text
to alt="Back to HWG homepage" -- this is a less than optimal
solution, though, because while it identifies the link
function,
it's not really valid alt text. The "Back to HWG homepage"
text belongs in the title attribute of the link.

Aside: The HWG logo is indeed a link to the HWG homepage on
every page on the site, save for the homepage itself.
On the home page, the link goes to the information page
which tells you how to use the logo -- so in that case
(and that case alone), the proposed alt text in #2
may be the most accurate!

4. It's redundant and unnecessary to repeat "HTML Writers Guild",
so maybe this is just decorative text. So let's just set it
to alt="". We can put a title on it as per #3. The drawback
is that the link function can easily get lost, especially in
a browser such as Lynx, if the alt text is null or alt=" "
(space).

5. There's also a problem with #1, #2, and #3 in that they put
this
logo's alt text before the headline. The headline really
should
come first on the page. This image is just part of the
navigation bar, which is a secondary part of the page
information
visually, but its prominence in the markup makes it the first
thing read by the screenreader. The page should instead be
laid
out using CSS for positioning, so that the headline comes first
in the markup, and the logo -- with alt text of your choice --
is down in the secondary (or tertiary!) navigation where it
belongs. Approach #5 can be combined with any of #1 to #4
above, and you will notice that the new location will indeed
affect how you view the appropriateness of various alt text.

So what's best? Again, it's a matter of style. It's more
important
that you think about it and apply your decision consistently. If
you do that much, I will be happy.


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



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From: John Foliot - bytown internet
Date: Tue, Aug 20 2002 4:04AM
Subject: RE: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?
← Previous message | Next message →

Oh please do avoid using "Link To..." in your alt text.

At least one screen reading technology (JAWS) will identify a hyperlink by
saying "Link", thus what you hear is "Link, link to foo", "Link, link to
bar", etc. Also, using JAWS, users can call up and search a list of links
on any given page, a "quick scan" as it were of the links from your page.
This list can be searched (by the Text or Alt Text inclosed within the <a>
tags); if every link starts with "Link to" it negates this useful fuction.

JF

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Steve Vosloo [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
> Sent: August 20, 2002 2:37 AM
> To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> Subject: RE: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?
>
>
> 3. Keeping that in mind, one could conceivably set the alt text
> to alt="Back to HWG homepage" -- this is a less than optimal
> solution, though, because while it identifies the link
> function,
> it's not really valid alt text. The "Back to HWG homepage"
> text belongs in the title attribute of the link.
>
> I've seen this kind of comment before. Is there a general rule about
> verbs in ALT tags? For the ALTs on all my images that are links I start
> with "Link to ..." Is this wrong? If a logo links you back to the
> homepage, then the function of that image is just that -- so why not
> describe it as such in the ALT attribute?
>
> Thanks
> Steve
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
> Sent: 19 August 2002 09:23 AM
> To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> Subject: Re: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?
>
>
> It's hard to come up with a general "best rule" for alt text, since in
> many cases it's a matter of style. If you made a test of 10 different
> images and asked 10 different accessibility "experts" to provide alt
> text, you will likely get 10 different sets of answers.
>
> The key, I think, is to cultivate the mindset whereby Web authors take
> alt text into consideration, and not necessarily insist on one person's
> view of "the perfect alt text" for each image. In nearly every case, it
> is better to have tried and put what YOU think is appropriate --
> based on your knowledge of assistive technology -- than to attempt to
> please everyone with "the perfect answer."
>
> In fact, you can get different answers from different blind folks as
> well. If you are looking for perfection, you will fail, since you won't
> be able to please all of the folks all of the time.
>
> If you are looking for usability, however, that is fairly easily
> accomplished and will provide heightened access to a huge number of
> people who would be otherwise without.
>
> It is good to consider what the "best" alt text is. It is more
> important to have a "decent" alt text than to achieve this mythical
> "perfect" one.
>
> --Kynn
>
> PS: Okay, I will address the real issue instead of merely the meta-
> issue. Consider a page which has logo, such as the HTML Writers
> Guild's site. The logo is a button which reads "HTML Writers
> Guild." Then you've got an <h1> with the same text. What should
> the alt text be?
>
> Answer: It doesn't matter as long as it's within the realm of
> sensibility. You shouldn't strive for "the perfect alt
> text" because no such beast exists, but you should be
> consistent and thoughtful in your stylistic choice.
>
> Here's some choices you could make in this case:
>
> 1. The alt text could be alt="HTML Writers Guild". In nearly
> any situation where an image contains actual text, the alt
> text is likely just that text itself. Drawback? The page
> now reads as "HTML Writers Guild HTML Writers Guild" because
> there's already an <h1> with that very alt text.
>
> 2. The alt text could be alt="[HTML Writers Guild Logo]". (I
> think this is what it is currently.) This identifies the logo
> as more than simply the WORDS "HTML Writers Guild", and the
> identification of the image as a logo provides context as to
> the function of the image. It's an identifier, and may even
> prove to be a link of value. Remember that on many Web sites,
> the logo in the upper left corner is a link that returns you to
> the top page.
>
> 3. Keeping that in mind, one could conceivably set the alt text
> to alt="Back to HWG homepage" -- this is a less than optimal
> solution, though, because while it identifies the link
> function,
> it's not really valid alt text. The "Back to HWG homepage"
> text belongs in the title attribute of the link.
>
> Aside: The HWG logo is indeed a link to the HWG homepage on
> every page on the site, save for the homepage itself.
> On the home page, the link goes to the information page
> which tells you how to use the logo -- so in that case
> (and that case alone), the proposed alt text in #2
> may be the most accurate!
>
> 4. It's redundant and unnecessary to repeat "HTML Writers Guild",
> so maybe this is just decorative text. So let's just set it
> to alt="". We can put a title on it as per #3. The drawback
> is that the link function can easily get lost, especially in
> a browser such as Lynx, if the alt text is null or alt=" "
> (space).
>
> 5. There's also a problem with #1, #2, and #3 in that they put
> this
> logo's alt text before the headline. The headline really
> should
> come first on the page. This image is just part of the
> navigation bar, which is a secondary part of the page
> information
> visually, but its prominence in the markup makes it the first
> thing read by the screenreader. The page should instead be
> laid
> out using CSS for positioning, so that the headline comes first
> in the markup, and the logo -- with alt text of your choice --
> is down in the secondary (or tertiary!) navigation where it
> belongs. Approach #5 can be combined with any of #1 to #4
> above, and you will notice that the new location will indeed
> affect how you view the appropriateness of various alt text.
>
> So what's best? Again, it's a matter of style. It's more
> important
> that you think about it and apply your decision consistently. If
> you do that much, I will be happy.
>
>
> ----
> To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
> visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/
>
>
>
> ----
> To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
> visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/
>


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From: Steve Vosloo
Date: Tue, Aug 20 2002 5:21AM
Subject: RE: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?
← Previous message | Next message →

True. I actually got the technique from the W3C WAI Web Content
Accessibility Curriculum:
http://www.starlingweb.com/wai/wcag/sam2-0.htm. Quote ...

If the image is linked, you must describe the destination or purpose of
the link -- not the image, e.g.

<A HREF="home.htm">
<IMG SRC="home.gif" ALT="Link to the Home page.">
</A>

Is this technique good for any browser/anybody?

Steve





-----Original Message-----
From: John Foliot - bytown internet [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: 20 August 2002 12:58 PM
To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
Subject: RE: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?


Oh please do avoid using "Link To..." in your alt text.

At least one screen reading technology (JAWS) will identify a hyperlink
by saying "Link", thus what you hear is "Link, link to foo", "Link, link
to bar", etc. Also, using JAWS, users can call up and search a list of
links on any given page, a "quick scan" as it were of the links from
your page. This list can be searched (by the Text or Alt Text inclosed
within the <a> tags); if every link starts with "Link to" it negates
this useful fuction.

JF

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Steve Vosloo [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
> Sent: August 20, 2002 2:37 AM
> To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> Subject: RE: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?
>
>
> 3. Keeping that in mind, one could conceivably set the alt text
> to alt="Back to HWG homepage" -- this is a less than optimal
> solution, though, because while it identifies the link
> function,
> it's not really valid alt text. The "Back to HWG homepage"
> text belongs in the title attribute of the link.
>
> I've seen this kind of comment before. Is there a general rule about
> verbs in ALT tags? For the ALTs on all my images that are links I
> start with "Link to ..." Is this wrong? If a logo links you back to
> the homepage, then the function of that image is just that -- so why
> not describe it as such in the ALT attribute?
>
> Thanks
> Steve
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
> Sent: 19 August 2002 09:23 AM
> To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> Subject: Re: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?
>
>
> It's hard to come up with a general "best rule" for alt text, since in

> many cases it's a matter of style. If you made a test of 10 different

> images and asked 10 different accessibility "experts" to provide alt
> text, you will likely get 10 different sets of answers.
>
> The key, I think, is to cultivate the mindset whereby Web authors take

> alt text into consideration, and not necessarily insist on one
> person's view of "the perfect alt text" for each image. In nearly
> every case, it is better to have tried and put what YOU think is
> appropriate -- based on your knowledge of assistive technology -- than

> to attempt to please everyone with "the perfect answer."
>
> In fact, you can get different answers from different blind folks as
> well. If you are looking for perfection, you will fail, since you
> won't be able to please all of the folks all of the time.
>
> If you are looking for usability, however, that is fairly easily
> accomplished and will provide heightened access to a huge number of
> people who would be otherwise without.
>
> It is good to consider what the "best" alt text is. It is more
> important to have a "decent" alt text than to achieve this mythical
> "perfect" one.
>
> --Kynn
>
> PS: Okay, I will address the real issue instead of merely the meta-
> issue. Consider a page which has logo, such as the HTML Writers
> Guild's site. The logo is a button which reads "HTML Writers
> Guild." Then you've got an <h1> with the same text. What should
> the alt text be?
>
> Answer: It doesn't matter as long as it's within the realm of
> sensibility. You shouldn't strive for "the perfect alt
> text" because no such beast exists, but you should be
> consistent and thoughtful in your stylistic choice.
>
> Here's some choices you could make in this case:
>
> 1. The alt text could be alt="HTML Writers Guild". In nearly
> any situation where an image contains actual text, the alt
> text is likely just that text itself. Drawback? The page
> now reads as "HTML Writers Guild HTML Writers Guild" because
> there's already an <h1> with that very alt text.
>
> 2. The alt text could be alt="[HTML Writers Guild Logo]". (I
> think this is what it is currently.) This identifies the
logo
> as more than simply the WORDS "HTML Writers Guild", and the
> identification of the image as a logo provides context as to
> the function of the image. It's an identifier, and may even
> prove to be a link of value. Remember that on many Web
sites,
> the logo in the upper left corner is a link that returns you
to
> the top page.
>
> 3. Keeping that in mind, one could conceivably set the alt text
> to alt="Back to HWG homepage" -- this is a less than optimal
> solution, though, because while it identifies the link
> function,
> it's not really valid alt text. The "Back to HWG homepage"
> text belongs in the title attribute of the link.
>
> Aside: The HWG logo is indeed a link to the HWG homepage on
> every page on the site, save for the homepage itself.
> On the home page, the link goes to the information
page
> which tells you how to use the logo -- so in that
case
> (and that case alone), the proposed alt text in #2
> may be the most accurate!
>
> 4. It's redundant and unnecessary to repeat "HTML Writers
Guild",
> so maybe this is just decorative text. So let's just set it
> to alt="". We can put a title on it as per #3. The
drawback
> is that the link function can easily get lost, especially in
> a browser such as Lynx, if the alt text is null or alt=" "
> (space).
>
> 5. There's also a problem with #1, #2, and #3 in that they put
> this
> logo's alt text before the headline. The headline really
> should
> come first on the page. This image is just part of the
> navigation bar, which is a secondary part of the page
> information
> visually, but its prominence in the markup makes it the first
> thing read by the screenreader. The page should instead be
> laid
> out using CSS for positioning, so that the headline comes
first
> in the markup, and the logo -- with alt text of your choice
--
> is down in the secondary (or tertiary!) navigation where it
> belongs. Approach #5 can be combined with any of #1 to #4
> above, and you will notice that the new location will indeed
> affect how you view the appropriateness of various alt text.
>
> So what's best? Again, it's a matter of style. It's more
> important
> that you think about it and apply your decision consistently. If
> you do that much, I will be happy.
>
>
> ----
> To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
> visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/
>
>
>
> ----
> To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
> visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/
>


----
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visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/



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From: Jim Thatcher
Date: Tue, Aug 20 2002 9:47AM
Subject: RE: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?
← Previous message | Next message →

No that recommendation is not of any use to any assistive technology!!!

Jim
Accessibility Consulting
http://jimthatcher.com
512-306-0931
Evaluation of web evaluation tools at http://jimthatcher.com/erx.htm


-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Vosloo [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: Tuesday, August 20, 2002 7:15 AM
To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
Subject: RE: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?


True. I actually got the technique from the W3C WAI Web Content
Accessibility Curriculum:
http://www.starlingweb.com/wai/wcag/sam2-0.htm. Quote ...

If the image is linked, you must describe the destination or purpose of
the link -- not the image, e.g.

<A HREF="home.htm">
<IMG SRC="home.gif" ALT="Link to the Home page.">
</A>

Is this technique good for any browser/anybody?

Steve





-----Original Message-----
From: John Foliot - bytown internet [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: 20 August 2002 12:58 PM
To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
Subject: RE: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?


Oh please do avoid using "Link To..." in your alt text.

At least one screen reading technology (JAWS) will identify a hyperlink
by saying "Link", thus what you hear is "Link, link to foo", "Link, link
to bar", etc. Also, using JAWS, users can call up and search a list of
links on any given page, a "quick scan" as it were of the links from
your page. This list can be searched (by the Text or Alt Text inclosed
within the <a> tags); if every link starts with "Link to" it negates
this useful fuction.

JF

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Steve Vosloo [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
> Sent: August 20, 2002 2:37 AM
> To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> Subject: RE: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?
>
>
> 3. Keeping that in mind, one could conceivably set the alt text
> to alt="Back to HWG homepage" -- this is a less than optimal
> solution, though, because while it identifies the link
> function,
> it's not really valid alt text. The "Back to HWG homepage"
> text belongs in the title attribute of the link.
>
> I've seen this kind of comment before. Is there a general rule about
> verbs in ALT tags? For the ALTs on all my images that are links I
> start with "Link to ..." Is this wrong? If a logo links you back to
> the homepage, then the function of that image is just that -- so why
> not describe it as such in the ALT attribute?
>
> Thanks
> Steve
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
> Sent: 19 August 2002 09:23 AM
> To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> Subject: Re: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?
>
>
> It's hard to come up with a general "best rule" for alt text, since in

> many cases it's a matter of style. If you made a test of 10 different

> images and asked 10 different accessibility "experts" to provide alt
> text, you will likely get 10 different sets of answers.
>
> The key, I think, is to cultivate the mindset whereby Web authors take

> alt text into consideration, and not necessarily insist on one
> person's view of "the perfect alt text" for each image. In nearly
> every case, it is better to have tried and put what YOU think is
> appropriate -- based on your knowledge of assistive technology -- than

> to attempt to please everyone with "the perfect answer."
>
> In fact, you can get different answers from different blind folks as
> well. If you are looking for perfection, you will fail, since you
> won't be able to please all of the folks all of the time.
>
> If you are looking for usability, however, that is fairly easily
> accomplished and will provide heightened access to a huge number of
> people who would be otherwise without.
>
> It is good to consider what the "best" alt text is. It is more
> important to have a "decent" alt text than to achieve this mythical
> "perfect" one.
>
> --Kynn
>
> PS: Okay, I will address the real issue instead of merely the meta-
> issue. Consider a page which has logo, such as the HTML Writers
> Guild's site. The logo is a button which reads "HTML Writers
> Guild." Then you've got an <h1> with the same text. What should
> the alt text be?
>
> Answer: It doesn't matter as long as it's within the realm of
> sensibility. You shouldn't strive for "the perfect alt
> text" because no such beast exists, but you should be
> consistent and thoughtful in your stylistic choice.
>
> Here's some choices you could make in this case:
>
> 1. The alt text could be alt="HTML Writers Guild". In nearly
> any situation where an image contains actual text, the alt
> text is likely just that text itself. Drawback? The page
> now reads as "HTML Writers Guild HTML Writers Guild" because
> there's already an <h1> with that very alt text.
>
> 2. The alt text could be alt="[HTML Writers Guild Logo]". (I
> think this is what it is currently.) This identifies the
logo
> as more than simply the WORDS "HTML Writers Guild", and the
> identification of the image as a logo provides context as to
> the function of the image. It's an identifier, and may even
> prove to be a link of value. Remember that on many Web
sites,
> the logo in the upper left corner is a link that returns you
to
> the top page.
>
> 3. Keeping that in mind, one could conceivably set the alt text
> to alt="Back to HWG homepage" -- this is a less than optimal
> solution, though, because while it identifies the link
> function,
> it's not really valid alt text. The "Back to HWG homepage"
> text belongs in the title attribute of the link.
>
> Aside: The HWG logo is indeed a link to the HWG homepage on
> every page on the site, save for the homepage itself.
> On the home page, the link goes to the information
page
> which tells you how to use the logo -- so in that
case
> (and that case alone), the proposed alt text in #2
> may be the most accurate!
>
> 4. It's redundant and unnecessary to repeat "HTML Writers
Guild",
> so maybe this is just decorative text. So let's just set it
> to alt="". We can put a title on it as per #3. The
drawback
> is that the link function can easily get lost, especially in
> a browser such as Lynx, if the alt text is null or alt=" "
> (space).
>
> 5. There's also a problem with #1, #2, and #3 in that they put
> this
> logo's alt text before the headline. The headline really
> should
> come first on the page. This image is just part of the
> navigation bar, which is a secondary part of the page
> information
> visually, but its prominence in the markup makes it the first
> thing read by the screenreader. The page should instead be
> laid
> out using CSS for positioning, so that the headline comes
first
> in the markup, and the logo -- with alt text of your choice
--
> is down in the secondary (or tertiary!) navigation where it
> belongs. Approach #5 can be combined with any of #1 to #4
> above, and you will notice that the new location will indeed
> affect how you view the appropriateness of various alt text.
>
> So what's best? Again, it's a matter of style. It's more
> important
> that you think about it and apply your decision consistently. If
> you do that much, I will be happy.
>
>
> ----
> To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
> visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/
>
>
>
> ----
> To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
> visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/
>


----
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visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/



----
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From: Kynn Bartlett
Date: Tue, Aug 20 2002 9:55AM
Subject: RE: Is "this-or-that logo" adequate in an ALT text?
← Previous message | No next message

At 8:36 AM +0200 8/20/02, Steve Vosloo wrote:
> 3. Keeping that in mind, one could conceivably set the alt text
> to alt="Back to HWG homepage" -- this is a less than optimal
> solution, though, because while it identifies the link
>function,
> it's not really valid alt text. The "Back to HWG homepage"
> text belongs in the title attribute of the link.
>
>I've seen this kind of comment before. Is there a general rule about
>verbs in ALT tags? For the ALTs on all my images that are links I start
>with "Link to ..." Is this wrong? If a logo links you back to the
>homepage, then the function of that image is just that -- so why not
>describe it as such in the ALT attribute?

In my opinion it's a stylistic question, and there is a "technically
correct" answer. The technically correct answer is that you are doing
it wrong; the <img> tag should contain attributes which apply to the
image, not the <a> link surrounding it.

In practice this probably isn't a huge problem, and may increase the
usability of your link in fact.

--Kynn

--
Kynn Bartlett < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > http://kynn.com
Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain http://idyllmtn.com
Next Book: Teach Yourself CSS in 24 http://cssin24hours.com
Kynn on Web Accessibility ->> http://kynn.com/+sitepoint


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