HiSoftware Web Site Quality Report - Alternative Text Quality
The HiSoftware Web Site Quality - Alt Text Policy Report allows AccVerify or AccMonitor users to validate content for proper quality as related to valid alternative text for images based on best practices. These checkpoints are based on practical and accepted guidelines. This report can be downloaded and used as is or you can customize it to match your exact organization requirements.
Note the default checks may need to be edited slightly to match your organizations policies.
This Custom Report can be downloaded for use with AccVerify, AccRepair, and AccMonitor. Simply Extract the files into the C:\Program Files\HISC\AccVerify Pro\crbide or C:\Program Files\HISC\AccMonitor\crbide directories to use. For those using the Custom Check Development Environment you can store in any folder as long as all files are in the same folder.
Download the Alt Text Quality Report (ZIP file)
Download other Custom Reports
Check Points and detail of this report follow:
1. Detect words which may be implied or repetitive and automated alt text values
Note: You can adjust these values in the XML Custom Check File, via the Custom Check Editor. You can add words or images extensions to validate. Example you may wish to add the word logo, some people argue that logo is a bad word to have in alternative text.
2. Validate Alt Text Length and proper use of length
Note: You can adjust these values in the XML Custom Check File, via the Custom Check Editor. The Minimum length is set to warn, and the maximum length is set to fail. You can also change this.
Specific Quality Checks for Alt Text Quality - Descriptions
The following section describes what checkpoints are being run with this content quality assurance checklist for your content management needs. The checkpoints are described as well as information on why these checks are important.
1- Detect words which may be implied or repetitive and automated alt text values
The following checks are used to determine that alternative text provides descriptive and useful information to describe the meaning of an image versus the automated text generated by common web editors. Additionally it points out common mistakes made by content developers who are new to the application of alternative text.
1.1 Validate that the alt text does not use the word image
When users add alternative text to an image they tend to add the word "Image" when it really says nothing about the image, but describes the object versus the meaning of the object. This check will fail a page for the use of the word image in the alternative text.
Example: Image of Bird
1.2 Validate that the alt text does not contain the text of image extensions
Many content creation tools will automatically add alternative text when you add an image to your content. The text is generally the image name. 1.2 Will fail a page if a well known image extension is found, in general, this is automated alternative text that has no value to the user from an accessibility or searchability perspective.
1.6 Validate that the alt text does not contain the text "image"
Many content creation tools will automatically add alternative text when you add an image to your content. The text is generally the image name or the word image with a number associated, like image001. This checkpoint will fail a page if the string image is found in the alternative text. (For AccVerify SE, custom checkpoint relates to checkpoint 2.1 below.)
2 - Validate Alt Text Length
In determining the alternative text quality we can look to length as an indicator. This is true for both accessibility and searchability reasons. Generally Short Alternative text has no meaning and should be better described, however, there are reasons to have alternative text that is as small as one character. Additionally alternative text values should not exceed 80 characters in length. If more than 70-80 characters is required one should use the long description attribute as an alternative to alt text. The amount of repetition in alternative text is also checked.
2.1 Validate that Alternative Text is >7 and <81 characters in length
Short alternative text may not be valid, warn the report user if alternative text was found that is less than seven characters in length or greater then 80 characters in length.
2.2 Validate that Alternative Text is not used to repeat words
Alternative text should not be used to to simply hide words with the hope of increasing your ranking on search engines. If you repeat a word more then 5 times you page may not be indexed.