Writing Alt-text for buildings and architecture

A word poster in upper case with the heading of the blog post: How to write image descriptions for buildings and architecture.Alt-text is a description of an image that’s shown to people who for some reason can’t see the image. Alt-text mainly helps people with little or no vision, people who turn off images to save data, and search engines. So what should you write in Alt-text for buildings? 

As more people are getting the hang of writing alt-text, we are seeing a little more finesse emerging.  A recent blog post from Veroniiiica (not a typo) explains what to include when describing buildings and architecture.

    • The type of structure that is being shown, such as a house, church or monument.  
    • For landmarks, mentioning the name of the structure is helpful, such as the Space Needle or a building at a specific university
    • The general size of the structure – is it a small house or large skyscraper?
    • The colour and material of the structure, which is especially helpful for historical structures
    • Any distinctive features
    • Any text or relevant signs in the image

More specific details about building might include:

      • The size of the structure, such as the height or number of storeys
      • The city or country the structure is located in
      • The scenery and time of day, if it alters the appearance of the structure such as a night view or a rainy day
      • Depending on the reading audience, you can include the name or description of the architectural style 

However, this is not an exercise in prose so don’t try to include everything, but relate it to the accompanying text or purpose of the image. There is more information in the blog.  

If you want to learn more about alt-text and how to do it, have a look at two previous posts on this website: How to write meaningful alt-text and Every picture tells a story.

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