Logical use of text alternative

Noted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 00:52:51. Words count: 380.
Last updated: Sunday, April 18, 2010 at 14:00:00.

Left out Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) recommendations if you think it is technically too difficult to understand. Texts alternative often used in alt and title attributes. There are no strict rules how to fill it.

Logically, we may choose a better way to write some information into it. No keywords cloaking, stuffing/flooding methods. Put your black-hat search engine optimization (SEO) strategies off. We, humans, do not need all of that keywords in a Web documents.

Keep on context. Try to read the texts alternative in a logical way.

Alternative texts known as alt

Images and multimedia files in content should also accessible for all users, vision impaired and disabled-image users. No lost information for visitors. What texts should we put on it?

  • If it is decorative or simple illustration only, use empty or null alt, <alt="">.
  • If the image contains texts, put that texts inside the alt attribute. Describe the content of the image, <alt="same descriptive texts here">.
  • If the image is already explained in content, e.g. table of result, someone photo, gravatar, smiley, so no need special treatment to do. We may put the name of table, person, or object in alt texts.
  • Multimedia files needs some text transcript, narration, synopsis, and/or long description.
  • Explaining the description on non-text content is not a must. But ensure the function of it.

Title attributes in links

This attribute is not fully accessible since it is mouse dependant. Only additional information should be placed inside the title attribute, title="additional information here". Redundant information in anchor text and its title attribute is useless and sounds bad for screen reader users. Descriptive anchor texts are more than enough.

If you think it is useful for search engines, find your title attributes on search engine result pages. Or ask algorithm developer for sure.

Is it logic already?

How to know that your text alternatives are already context-related and logic enough for human and machines?

  • Put all images off. The navigation menu must be still exist there. Do visitors lost some important information? Do your image-based bullet/listing style still visible?
  • Put all CSS off. Fancy tooltips may not work properly.
  • Turn off all javascripts. Check the navigation menu first. Do multimedia files still accessible?
  • Use text-based browsers such as Lynx. Or use Web crawler-spider simulators. Do the text alternatives easy to read and understand?
Dani Iswara, [myfirstnamelastname]@gmail.com.

6 comments to "Logical use of text alternative"

  1. Cahya

    Kalau tidak mempertimbangkan kata kunci mengapa biasanya jurnal-jurnal resmi-pun dilengkapi kata kunci…

    Kemudian untuk atribut alt setelah ditambahkan apa masih perlu ditambahkan title? since you said title AND alt, not title OR alt…

  2. dani

    Cahya,
    yang ngga dibutuhin kan cloaking keywords ditumplek jadi satu.

    Misalnya: ini kalimat pembuka [ini alt berisi keywords alternatif teks kata kunci seo pokoknya tembak aja] sambungan kalimat lanjutan di sini.

    Kalo didenger pake telinga, susunan di atas bisa jadi ngga logis kan? :)

  3. dani

    Cahya,
    …Texts alternative often used in alt and title attributes…
    ya sesuai konteks dan kebutuhan lah. Tag img yang berupa pranala bisa make keduanya bersamaan. Walau tidak harus.

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