deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)
deborah ([personal profile] deborah) wrote in [site community profile] dw_accessibility2012-02-21 09:18 am

heads up: alt text for user icons is changing

Just a heads-up for people who rely on alt text to navigate the page that as of the next code push the alt text for userpic icons will be changing. When that code push happens (I'm not sure when it is scheduled) the alt text for user icons will become "username: description (keyword), comment". For those who care, the title text (which in most browsers is accessible by hovering the mouse over the icon, but not accessible to keyboard, screenreader, and many smartphone users), will be "username: keyword, comment (description)".

This change will make sure that the same information is available in alt and title, so that people who can hover the mouse to see the title text won't have access to any different information than those who can't. But at the same time, it prioritizes the order of that information according to the opinion that seemed prevalent when this community was polled: people who don't use the alt text mostly seem to be prioritizing the description, while people who use the title mostly don't seem to want the description but do care about the keyword. (While at the same time, a lot of screenreader users would like the description to be available in standard browsers so that sighted folks get more of a sense of what makes good alternative text.)