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RE: Alt is not a description (was Re: when to use longdesc for im ages)

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2004 09:29:57 -0600
Message-ID: <6EED8F7006A883459D4818686BCE3B3B2906D2@MAIL01.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "Katie Smith" <ksmith@no10.x.gsi.gov.uk>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Katie Smith wrote:
<blockquote> I would use image and colour to: 

	- Illustrate a story (therefore it should be relevant to the
story) 
	- To display data in a more instant (tho not accessible) format
(ie graphs) 
	- To convey the values (brand) of the organisation the website
represents (ie, set the mood) 

	Presumably, for a visually impaired user, an organisation's
values and brand are just as important in making a decision about
whether to purchase, for example? 

	[JMS] </blockquote>
	I agree! But conveying those things through a *description* of a
logo or a *description* of the color scheme is a very tough proposition
indeed. Maybe if you're good at writing haiku <grin>. Otherwise, I
personally would rather you gave me a link to the organization's mission
and values statements-- and I would hope all the text and other content
on the site would embody the organization's core values and principles.
(And, yes, my last sentence takes us outside the purview of WCAG...)
	

	
	J[JMS] ohn 
	

	Katie Smith 

	-----Original Message----- 
	From: Andy J. W. Affleck [mailto:aaffleck@gmail.com] 
	Sent: 21 December 2004 14:48 
	To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org 
	Subject: Re: Alt is not a description (was Re: when to use
longdesc for 
	images) 



	I've always taken the approach that there are three levels of
non-text 
	content on a site: 

	Eye-candy: things that serve no purpose other than to make a
site 
	visually appealing/attractive and (in many cases) satisfy the 
	marketing departments. There is no content value (though there
may be 
	value to a sighted user in that some of the eye candy can be
used to 
	help denote the navigation system in a way that makes the site
easier 
	to use -- but I do not mean the actual navigation, that is not 
	included in this grouping). 

	Mood-Setting: This is the middle layer of graphics which may
serve to 
	set the mood or set the stage as it were. These graphics are not

	direct content and may not be considered essential, but they are

	important in that they help frame what is going on. 

	Content. This includes the actual navigation as well as actual
content. 

	Given those three, I never alt-ify the first group unless there
is 
	something there which will enhance the usability of the site for

	someone using a non-visual user agent. I alt-ify the second
group as 
	makes sense and is relevant. There may be time when doing so may
be 
	annoying or detrimental to other users and I'll avoid it. But
usually, 
	it's important to get this content in there for all users. And, 
	obviously, content should always be fully available. 

	-A 
Received on Tuesday, 21 December 2004 15:29:58 GMT

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