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title is NOT shortdesc

From: nir dagan <dagan@upf.es>
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 98 1:00:56 MET
Message-Id: <199802200000.BAA10811@sahara.upf.es>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Cc: dagan@upf.es
Providing a short description of an image with 
title is *very bad* for the sighted users who may 
get it as a tooltip. (the implementation as tooltips is 
mentioned favorably in the HTML4.0 spec)

It *reduces* usability, as the sighted user 
will read text that replicates information
 that he already has.

Check out Jacob Nielsen's article 
on "link titles" in alertbox. I can't remember the article's URL,
but it is easy to find from:


The title attribute must not replicate information but add to it.

A short description can be made using the longdesc attribute. 
One way to do so is to concentrate all the short descriptions
on a page in a website. By using targeting to named anchors in this 
page, refer to them in the longdesc attribute. For example:

<H2><IMG src="foologo.gif" alt="Foo presents:" 

<H1>The usable Web site--properly understood</H1>
Note that I didn't use title above. title is optional, and should 
be used carefully not to reduce usability.

The alt attribute is used for the function of the image. 
(This is extremely important if the image is an anchor's

The fact that the descriptions are short should not change  
the choice of attribute, but may affect the organization 
of the Web site.

Nir Dagan.

email: dagan@upf.es
URL: http://www.econ.upf.es/%7Edagan/
Received on Thursday, 19 February 1998 19:07:38 UTC

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