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Re: Null alt tags for decorative images - Technique H67

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 03 Nov 2011 17:56:44 +0000
Message-ID: <4EB2D5DC.3000607@splintered.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
On 03/11/2011 17:19, Jonathan Avila wrote:
> While many images are decorative I believe authors and should step back
> and ask themselves why they included the image.  If the image conveys a
> meaning like a smiling receptionist – that does convey something about
> the company.

Which I'd convey in the friendly, welcoming tone of voice of the body 
copy of the page, rather than with an alt="Smiling receptionist".

> Another image of people of different ethnic backgrounds
> may imply the company is diverse.  These may be important factors to
> convey to people viewing the site and getting people to buy your products.

Again, tone and description. There's also widespread use of generic 
stock photos (alt="Closeup of a firm handshake between two 
businesspeople in suits", alt="Young woman sprawled on the bed, looking 
intently at her laptop", etc) which I'd definitely say are visual fluff.

But yes, it's very difficult to have a hard and fast, black or white 
answer. It's up to the individual context, intent, and so on.

Patrick H. Lauke
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]

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Received on Thursday, 3 November 2011 17:57:36 UTC

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