Friday, December 25, 2009
As you may know, most web sites use alt-text, or alternative text to describe key images that can be used by people with vision impairment to enrich the online experience. Not a lot of people notice alt-text and sometimes it may not always be what you expect. Take this example from a website depicting the well known “12 Days of Christmas” carol.
On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me A partridge in a pear tree.
alt="What a crappy tree! The image shows a bloody twig with a curled leaf and a partridge that looks like a magpie has ripped half it feathers off. If this was my true love I’d be wondering what message they are trying to send"
On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree.
alt="Same tree and ragged bird but this time beside it are two ratty looking pigeons that have crapped all over the twig the author laughingly refers to as a ‘tree’"
On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Three French hens, Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree.
alt="There’s enough in frame now that the image is landscape and in addition to the existing birds three battery hens are depicted looking like refugees from an animal rights ad for free range"
On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Four calling birds, Three French hens, Two turtle doves, And a partridge in a pear tree.
alt="Yawn, this is one of those images that makes me envy those reading this who have a vision impairment. The authors have added four tired-looking budgies to the already sad collection of avian specimens"
You can read the rest here.
I know that this is all a bit geeky, but in the spirit of trying it out I have included some alt text in this Traditional Scottish Advent Calendar. Hope you all have a great holiday season and a good 2010.