SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

View Poll Results: Your view on the ALT attribute!

Voters
213. You may not vote on this poll
  • I don't know what it is

    2 0.94%
  • I know what it is but I don't use it

    29 13.62%
  • I use it but for my own purposes (i.e misuse of ALT for search engine optimisation)

    11 5.16%
  • I am very aware of its use and I try and use it appropriately and as sensibly as possible

    171 80.28%
Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 117
  1. #26
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Thailand
    Posts
    4,810
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yep, always use "alt" attribute. Gotta find out more about "title" though. Having used v limited systems, I try to make all my sites as accessible as possible, while visually imparied users are in my thoughts as I design, so are individuals in third world countries with 8-10 year old technology.

    H
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
    922ee590a26bd62eb9b33cf2877a00df
    Currently delving into Django, GIT & CentOS

  2. #27
    Kat's Meow Senior ******* WebKat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    California USA
    Posts
    1,071
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Wondering?

    ~Nicky~ I am curious to know the various reasons why some webmasters have purposely decided *NOT* to use <alt> or other similar tags when building their websites.

    They may not be required per se but they should be part of the formatting of each web page.....WebKat
    Dlynn :: SitePoint Senior Advisor ::
    PawPrint Designs by WebKat
    "Dogs come when they're called; Cats take a message and get back to you later." ~ Mary Bly

  3. #28
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Lancashire, UK
    Posts
    8,277
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Webkat, that is an interesting and valid point. I recently interviewed a webmaster who makes their living mostly from building government/educational/charity websites and his answer to that question astounded me.

    Bascially, he said that it takes longer to add the ALT tags than not too (basic fact), and that he would only add them if the client requested and paid for them. I confronted him and ask him whether he felt that that kind of attitude detracted form his professional and moral standpoint, and he said he didn't care as long as he was earning money.

    Now in my view there are always going to be ignorant people like that, and the only way that we can combat this is, like with most things, via education.

  4. #29
    Kat's Meow Senior ******* WebKat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    California USA
    Posts
    1,071
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ~Nicky~ That is absolutely unbelieveable but I know that there are others out there like that...but it is discouraging. With all the 'stupid' things that clients say that have been posted before in the forum, that is one for the other half--the ignorant webmasters!

    Hard to believe that they would have that kind of attitude, especially when you think of the types of websites that they design...government, educational and charity. It seems that those are just the types that would need specialized & informative tags even more than others.....WebKat
    Dlynn :: SitePoint Senior Advisor ::
    PawPrint Designs by WebKat
    "Dogs come when they're called; Cats take a message and get back to you later." ~ Mary Bly

  5. #30
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    A cave with 47 computers and an internet feed
    Posts
    3,559
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Looks like he is in the wrong line of work!! Although as a webmaster, it is difficult, if not impossible, to please all of the people all of the time, we should still use the ALT tag whenever possible.

    I use them both to help search engine rankings and to help those with website reading machines (I am partially blind myself, so I know the feeling.) I don't feed the engines long strings of keywords, but rather, write a keyword-rich sentence or two that makes sense but still catches high rankings.

  6. #31
    SitePoint Guru CJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Mechelen, Belgium, Europe
    Posts
    684
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I use ALT tags on ALL of the images of my newer designs.... Even if an image doesn't have a meaning I include something like [ignore].

  7. #32
    SitePoint Member noztrils's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    2
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    personally i always try and use the alt tag to the best of my ability, if i'm in a rush i still put some short succint description of what should be there just in case the server goes wrong!

    Most of the time i try and add a caption to the picture that would be there as more of a complement then an alternative.

    HTH
    Phill Price
    http://www.maxxed.co.uk
    the cruisers hideout

  8. #33
    The Hiding One lynlimz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    2,103
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by Nicky
    <font face="verdana, arial, helvetica" size="2" class="mfont">Webkat, that is an interesting and valid point. I recently interviewed a webmaster who makes their living mostly from building government/educational/charity websites and his answer to that question astounded me.

    Bascially, he said that it takes longer to add the ALT tags than not too (basic fact), and that he would only add them if the client requested and paid for them. I confronted him and ask him whether he felt that that kind of attitude detracted form his professional and moral standpoint, and he said he didn't care as long as he was earning money.

    Now in my view there are always going to be ignorant people like that, and the only way that we can combat this is, like with most things, via education.</font>
    A very good reason.
    He isn't working on a site. He's doing it for someone else.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
    -- Albert Einstein

  9. #34
    SitePoint Zealot DarkMonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    170
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The quoting is seriously buggy, the html code keeps appearing in it and it goes all bold.

    Anyway, onto topic.

    I, personally, dont use it very often, that's not to say I'm being ignorant to visually impaired people or whatever, but I simply forget a lot of the time, or just dont do it. Wether this is because my site is about videogames, and therefore most readers probably can view images, what with games being a series of images and all, however it might just be me, being lazy.

    I wasn't even aware of the search engine aspect, I really should do some more research on that. The images which are added with the php script I wrote do have an alt, but the rest usually tend not to.

    To be honest if anyone tells you they leave them out because of load times or such like excuses they are probably lying. The only real reason I can see for leaving them out is the time. It's not nice to have to remember another thing every time we use an image, there are lots of things to think of already. However that's probably a poor excuse, and thanks to some pretty damn insightful comments in this very post I think from now on in I resolve to use them on all images.

    I came into the thread by voting for "I know about them but dont use them". I leave with aformentioned phiosophy.

    Thanks

  10. #35
    SitePoint Guru sowen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Stockport, UK
    Posts
    729
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    CJ,

    Instead of using ignore try alt="". This is perfectly valid HTML (and xHTML) but a audio browser will skip over it instead of saying IGNORE. Try to imagine how it would sound to someone using an audio browser in a table with loads of spacer images.

  11. #36
    SitePoint Zealot DarkMonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    170
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    *imagines*

    Arggg, the horror of a slight pause!!!

  12. #37
    SitePoint Addict gthorley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    392
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Can someone give a brief explanation of what exactly the title tag is and when it should be used. Playing around with it I placed it in an image as well as the alt tag. It only seems to work in IE. and you dont get both. IE defaults to showing the title tag. Why not just use the alt atribute?

  13. #38
    mouse monkey
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    656
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi,

    I always try to include the alt attribute to images. (Even on spacer gifs, but just as alt=""). I don't always remember to add alt attributes to every image tag (I'm only human ) but then I use the validator at http://www.w3.orgon every page I code which reminds me to add them. I try to code as far to webstandards as possible so alt tags comes part of the package.

    I feel alt tags are important because the web should also be for the visually impaired and not just for the totally sighted.

    I hope your essay goes well.

  14. #39
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Lancashire, UK
    Posts
    8,277
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for you comments everyone, this is very helpful and I am making notes as I read this thread.

    In answer to gthorley's question, I copied this from the W3C website.

    Unlike the TITLE element, which provides information about an entire document and may only appear once, the title attribute may annotate any number of elements. Please consult an element's definition to verify that it supports this attribute.

    Values of the title attribute may be rendered by user agents in a variety of ways. For instance, visual browsers frequently display the title as a "tool tip" (a short message that appears when the pointing device pauses over an object). Audio user agents may speak the title information in a similar context. For example, setting the attribute on a link allows user agents (visual and non-visual) to tell users about the nature of the linked resource:

    ...some text...
    Here's a photo of
    <A href="http://someplace.com/neatstuff.gif" title="Me scuba diving">
    me scuba diving last summer
    </A>
    ...some more text...

    The title attribute has an additional role when used with the LINK element to designate an external style sheet. Please consult the section on links and style sheets for details.

    Note. To improve the quality of speech synthesis for cases handled poorly by standard techniques, future versions of HTML may include an attribute for encoding phonemic and prosodic information.

  15. #40
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Karl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Derbyshire, UK
    Posts
    4,411
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't find it hard to believe about the web designer you interviewed Nicky, it's quite common for web designers who do corporate sites to have come from a graphic design background which means they don't have a very good grasp on what really makes the web tick.

    I have done work that has been integrated into sites that are apauling, no meta tags, images at 100k that you can optimise down to 25k, poor HTML with bits flying round all over the place (Mainly because they used Adobe GoLive).

    I always include ALT tags now and have done for some time.
    Karl Austin :: Profile :: KDA Web Services Ltd.
    Business Web Hosting :: Managed Dedicated Hosting
    Call 0800 542 9764 today and ask how we can help your business grow.

  16. #41
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Lancashire, UK
    Posts
    8,277
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think it is interesting to note that the majority of people who voted considered themselves aware of the ALT attribute, and think that they use it appropriately. The question I ask is though, how do we define "appropriate"? It is obvious that different people ahve different perceptions.

    Take this as an example:

    This is me.

    Now what would you put as an ALT to that?

  17. #42
    SitePoint Addict Drinky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    338
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Cheesey Grin! j/k


    Seriously

    alt="Photo of Nicky"
    title="Photograph of Nicky ~surname~ taken blah blah"
    or
    title="Nicky on her birthday, at christmas e.t.c. a few beers the merrier"

    you get the idea
    Drinky

  18. #43
    SitePoint Addict Drinky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    338
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Having said that the picture on it's own is a bit out of context...
    Drinky

  19. #44
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Lancashire, UK
    Posts
    8,277
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    True, I just wanted to point out the fact that there is a difference between these words:

    ~ image
    ~ picture
    ~ photograph
    ~ cartoon
    and so forth.

    ...and that the selection of words that you use may go a long way towards forming someone's mental model.

  20. #45
    Kat's Meow Senior ******* WebKat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    California USA
    Posts
    1,071
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ~Nicky~ Do you have in your resources the Perfect Designed Website??

    I often see the sites that don't take the time to enhance the images with text. But are you aware of particular websites that are built utilizing all the various <alt> & other tags effectively on each page, so that anyone viewing the site is able "to see" all that the webmaster has designed even with the images turned off?

    That way you could compare the best with the worst, side by side.....WebKat
    Dlynn :: SitePoint Senior Advisor ::
    PawPrint Designs by WebKat
    "Dogs come when they're called; Cats take a message and get back to you later." ~ Mary Bly

  21. #46
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Lancashire, UK
    Posts
    8,277
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ohhh, I don't know about perfect, but these are some sites that are considered accessible.

    BBC Website
    Royal National Institute for the Blind
    Kynn's Website
    A List Apart
    CAST
    Webable
    HTML Writer's Guild
    Last edited by Nicky; Apr 23, 2001 at 18:24.

  22. #47
    Kat's Meow Senior ******* WebKat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    California USA
    Posts
    1,071
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ~Nicky~ How appropriate that this article would arrive in my eMail today {from About.com Web Design Tip}.....
    "How not to make your site accessible :: Maximize the gap between you and your users" Click Here

    Just a sample:
    "Insult (or ignore) blind people. A good Web designer can create a page that comes out of a text reader as "IMAGE! IMAGE! LINK! IMAGE! IMAGE! EMBED!" That's pretty amusing. Think of that laughable wanna-be customer, trying in vain to find a descriptive word anywhere on the page"

    Thought that this might give you a chuckle.....WebKat
    Dlynn :: SitePoint Senior Advisor ::
    PawPrint Designs by WebKat
    "Dogs come when they're called; Cats take a message and get back to you later." ~ Mary Bly

  23. #48
    SitePoint Zealot DarkMonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    170
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The thing is, catering for seriously visually impaired people is a very small market, and a market that probably isn't going to want to go to your website, if your running a corporate site then yes you should cater, but this thing about giving alt tags for people who have images turned off is a bit annoying, it's kinda like "Why do I have to explain this really cool image using really dull text because somebody can't be bothered to turn images on". Of course it's not like that, they might have a low powered computer, a terrible modem etc. However if you dont have images switched on, you dont see the images, quite simple, if the image is important like say a link then yes, of course, include the text, however if it's a picture of nicky, then what is the point in saying 'a picture of nicky' they dont freaking know what she looks like hence it's piontlessness.

    Am I being overly controvertial and/or mean?

  24. #49
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Springfield, MO
    Posts
    63
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I see ALT tags as a very effective tool for search engine optimization, but I don't feel I abuse them. I don't stuff the tag with keywords; in fact, I just describe the picture. If it's worded right, it's useful to both the surfers with images off AND the search engines. Perhaps some find it silly to spend so much time deliberating on such a thing, but when it's your job, it's the way to go.

    I've been researching search optimization now for six months, and I've learned that doing anything that is deliberately manipulating search engines will become spam sooner or later.

    But, if they ALT tags are created properly they can be beneficial in more than one way.
    ---------------------------------
    UnobUtt: http://www.unobutt.com/

  25. #50
    SitePoint Enthusiast emcgill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Michigan, USA
    Posts
    62
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by DarkMonkey
    The thing is, catering for seriously visually impaired people is a very small market, and a market that probably isn't going to want to go to your website, if your running a corporate site then yes you should cater, but this thing about giving alt tags for people who have images turned off is a bit annoying, it's kinda like "Why do I have to explain this really cool image using really dull text because somebody can't be bothered to turn images on". Of course it's not like that, they might have a low powered computer, a terrible modem etc. However if you dont have images switched on, you dont see the images, quite simple, if the image is important like say a link then yes, of course, include the text, however if it's a picture of nicky, then what is the point in saying 'a picture of nicky' they dont freaking know what she looks like hence it's piontlessness.

    Am I being overly controvertial and/or mean?
    I agree with you. I think that it is to small of a market to be designing your whole site by. If you have a chance, then do it. But I wouldn't go out of my way to design for the blind. Because, like you said, chances are they are going to have there own specific web sites that they go to, and yours probably isn't going to be one.

    I would say that it is kind of like desiging for people with 2.0 browsers and 640 X whatever resolution. But, people can upgrade and change that. They can't change being blind.

    However, it is a dream that will not come true to think that all web sites one day will be accessible by everyone, including all people with disabilities, like blindness.

    It is a standard that will never happen.

    Do what you can, but don't become obsessed with it.


    Eric McGill
    http://www.fivemiledesign.com


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •