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Alt Tags and the value of good labelling

An illustration of a Jam Jar with a label. Alt-tags function as labels for the contents of an image.
Article Content
  • How alt tags are descriptive labels for images on a website, like labels on jam jars in a supermarket.
  • How you need to give users all the context they need to understand the contents of an image, with detailed and logical descriptions.
  • The importance of writing descriptive alt tags for those with visualimpairments or other conditions which affect the ability to see images.
  • How detailed alt tags can benefit all users, for example, people with poor internet connections may struggle to load images.

Why jam jars need an accurate label

Let’s think about jam for a moment. If you were in the supermarket and you saw a jar of jam, you would want to know several things. Firstly, that it is jam, it might look like jam, but it could be something else entirely. Is just knowing it’s jam enough information ? Nope.

You wouldn’t be happy if this label simply said, ‘red jam’ inside. Red jam could mean strawberry jam, raspberry jam. These distinctions are important,no one wants the wrong thing on their toast in the morning.

Now imagine the person in the supermarket is visually impaired. The detail in the label becomes even more critical, so when they pick the jar off the shelf, they know precisely what they have in their hands.

Useful Tip

If you want to learn more about how to write accurate and useful alt tags read our article on the advanced use of alt tags here.

What alt tags and jam jars have in common.

Alt tags and Jam Jar labels have a lot in common. Alt tags are simply labels for your images which need to be as descriptive and logical as possible, so that anyone viewing your site knows what the images contain. This is so that everyone using your site comes away with the same level of understanding.

Every user is different, they may have visual impairments, or they could simply have a poor internet connection. A good Alt Tag, means your website is adaptable and therefore accessible, to as many users as possible.

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