Accessibility and findability

The right images

Images or videos are crucial to the mood of the website. Make sure that the image:

  • is consistent with user’s search aims and the purpose of the website;
  • is of good quality;
  • is unique. Avoid stock photos if possible.

Sufficient information

When putting images online, bear the following in mind:

  • Choose a descriptive file name.
  • In the Image Alt, state the purpose or content of the image. Give the same information to people who can’t see the image as to those who can.
  • If an image is an atmospheric photo without any message, leave the alternative text blank. Don’t use texts such as ‘atmospheric photo’ or ‘arrow’. Don’t enter any keywords in such cases either.
  • Write correct English, even in alternative texts.
  • Count on using no more than 125 characters for the Alt text. Is this too little to explain what you see? Then put the information in ordinary text.
  • Only provide an alternative text. You shouldn’t use a Title Attribute to repeat information or as the only place to present information. Not everyone uses the Title Attribute. Think of users of a touchscreen, or auxiliary device.

WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility standard

When working with images, it’s important to take account of search engines and people who can’t see the image. The EUR conforms to the WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility standard.

Alternative text is used to give people who can’t see the image the same information as people who can. For example, think of blind and visually impaired visitors, or what happens if the image doesn’t load properly.

A page which only has an image or video is unlikely to do well in search results. Search engines can’t yet work out what’s in an image. However, you can ‘tell’ Google what an image shows:

  1. Confirm the subject of the page so that it’s indexed more accurately.
  2. Increase the chances that users searching for images will find your website.
  3. Ensure that the information provided by a complex image is also present in the text.

Banners or images with text

Bear in mind that images with text such as a banner are inaccessible to some visitors and to Google. The partially sighted cannot display such text in a different colour. It is not possible to select it. Do you still want to include an image with text? Then you should also write out the text on the page.

Videos

Videos must be accessible to all. Provide subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing and audio description for the partially sighted and blind. Audio description makes information accessible that is only visible in the video. These requirements should be taken into account when the video is being made.

Infographics

An infographic often provides a lot of information. To ensure that this information is accessible and easy to find and use, it is important to give it in textual form too. The infographic should therefore be an illustration accompanying the text.

Maps and plans

What information does a map give? Provide this information textually too. For example, put a text with the address of the sports ground together with the map of it.

Sensory properties

Make sure your content is accessible across multiple channels and remains up to date. Don’t refer to a colour, shape or position on the page. For instance, don’t write:

  • ‘Click on the button on the right’ (on a phone screen, the button may be below).
  • ‘Use the green button’ (a colour-blind visitor will not recognise the colour).

More about media: