I'm never sure if I'm doing a good job with it, and there are so many different recommendations in the articles I've read online. Some people seem to prefer very brief alt text, while others prefer detailed alt text. What do you prefer? Does it depend on the context?
Usually, I think about the audience, and sometimes I try to mimic the detail and the language from the book itself. For example, if I'm producing a children's book, I'll try to simplify my word choices.
Do you have any pet peeves, criticisms, or any comments about alt text that you think might help us improve?
For example, I'm wondering if the only images within a book are black and white photographs, is it preferred that the alt text say "A black and white photograph of..." at the beginning, or is it preferred that we do not include this for every image?
Here's some alt text I've written:
- From "Mr. Hockey" by Gordie Howe
Photo of Gordie alt text: A colour photograph of Gordie standing in front of a hockey net in front of a large outdoor area of ice. There are trees in the background. Gordie is wearing a black parka with a grey fur hood and a red Red Wings baseball cap. He is smiling for the camera.
From "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis
Map of Narnia alt text: A map of Narnia and the surrounding countries. The map depicts the eastern coast of the Great Eastern Ocean. Narnia is in the North, resting just south of the Wild Lands of the North. The seven isles are just east of the Wild Lands of the North. Ettinsmoor is in the mountains north of Narnia. Aslan's How is inland from Cair Paravel which is on the coast of The Bight of Caloralen. The islands of Galma and Terebinthia lie within the Bight of Caloralen. To the south lies the lands of Archenland and over a mountain range south of this is a desert and Calormen where the Tombs and Tashbaan lie, close to the southeastern shores. Off of the peninsula east of Calormen lie the Lone Islands.
Drawing of Lucy and Mr. Tumnus alt text: A drawing of Lucy walking away with Mr. Tumnus. Mr. Tumnus is holding a black umbrella over their heads and they are walking through the snowy woods, surrounded by tall snow-covered trees.
From "The Great Leveler" by Walter Scheidel
Line graph alt text: A line graph depicting the rise of inequality between 1500 and 1800 in Piedmont (.62 to .78), Tuscany (0.65 to .85), Apulia (0.74 to 0.81), Northern Low Countries (0.5 to 0.625), and Southern Low Countries (0.525 to 0.58).