Writing alt-text and choosing colours

A laptop computer on a desk showing several pictures. How to write meaningful alt text and choose colours.When you are in a rush it’s easy to leave out the description of the image in the alt-text box – but should you?. Alt-text is a description of an image that’s shown to people, who for some reason, can’t see the image. Among other things, alt-texts help:

    • people with little or no vision
    • people who turn off images to save data
    • search engines find your website and posts

People with little or no vision probably benefit most from alt-texts. They use a screen reader to navigate the web.  If you don’t include alt-text you run the risk of a screen reader trying to convey something like “publicity_pre_launch.jpg, or “cropped_img32_900px.png”. Find out more from Axess Lab on how to convey context and meaning without writing an essay! Once you get into the habit, it doesn’t take long to do.

Choosing colours for websites

Colour diagram showing the three different types of colour vision deficiencyColour vision deficiency or colour blindness affects around 10 per cent of the population. But each person varies in what colours they can see, which is why it is not “colour blindness”.  So what colours are best if you want all readers to enjoy colours on your website?

Colour choice is not just a matter of making it look good – it can affect the readability of text and graphics as well.

A small qualitative study looked at two websites to assess their readability and usability by people who have colour vision deficiency. The researcher analysed body text, background and links and found they affected usability of the websites. The results should be read in conjunction with the methodology otherwise it won’t make sense. The conclusion section does not provide the specific outcomes.

The title of the article is, The effects of color choice in web design on the usability for individuals with color-blindness.  This is a Masters theses.

Colour kindness for colour blindness

A group of people standing holding a pink banner with the words You are Not Alone, but you can't see the word NOT because it is in pale red and blends into the background colourIt’s one thing to talk about colour blindness, but it is quite another to see what it looks like to the 6-10 per cent of the population that have colour vision deficiency. Axess Lab has produced an excellent set of successes and failures using real life examples of colours used by web designers.

These examples provide really good guidance for anyone involved in web content and design, as well as printed material. The blog page has links to more information. There is a nice pic of what a football field looks like to someone who can’t see red and green – so it’s not all about the web – it’s all around us as the picture shows. If you want to see more on this topic see ColourBlindAwareness Twitter feed. 

The banner in the picture shown should read ‘You Are Not Alone’, instead it looks like, ‘You Are Alone’.


Accessibility Toolbar