The images on your website should also be accessible for visitors who cannot view the images. The images should therefore be described using an “alternative text” (alt text), which can be read out by a screen reader, for example.
Tips for writing an alternative text
- Present the content of the image.
- Be factual and brief.
- If the image is a photo, specify this last in the alternative text. Example: “Two people are cycling in a park. Photo.” If the image is an illustration, write instead “Two people are cycling in a park. Illustration."
- If you want to state the name of the photographer in the alternative text, place this last of all in the alternative text. Example: “Two people are cycling in a park. Photo. Photographer: Anna Andersson."
- Always end the alternative text with a full stop. Ending with a full stop means the screen reader will pause briefly before continuing, thus making it easier for the person listening.
- Certain images may need a more extensive explanation, for example an organisation chart. In this case you can either describe the organisation on the website where you are publishing the image or create a separate website for the description and provide a link to that page alongside the image. An example of an alternative text for an organisation chart could be: “Organisation chart for Lund University. Illustration."
- Images that only serve a decorative function should have an empty alternative text (alt=””). Examples of decorative images include lines, arrows and dots.
Ideally activate the Browsealoud service (which is available on the University’s webpages) and test how the alternative text is conveyed in its context using only your hearing.
- Text within images.
- Writing alternative texts that are the same or similar to the adjacent text, for example the caption.