I know that I am preaching to the choir here, but this was still a helpful document for me.
I’ve seen some commentary going around on social media about how sighted folks are sometimes too exuberant in their descriptions and they get really long, like describing the trees in the background. We have to remember that we’re doing this to make the image and content accessible, not to record every detail in order to applaud ourselves. So I found this paragraph helpful:
Length of text
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but there’s no reason to write them all out and leave the user waiting for the descriptions to end. It is strongly recommended that alt text be 125 characters or less to ensure compatibility for popular screen readers. Image descriptions can be longer, but I recommend keeping them the length of a tweet, or about 280 characters. Speaking of Twitter, read my post on low vision Twitter accounts to follow here, and follow me on Twitter @veron4ica here.
I am also finding these paragraphs helpful:
Features of image to describe
When composing image descriptions, it may seem difficult to decide what to include. Here are features that can be included in image descriptions- write about these when applicable:
- Placement of objects in image
- Image style (painting, graph)
- Names of people
- Clothes (if they are an important detail)
- Placement of text
- Emotions, such as smiling
What not to describe
Likewise, there are some things that should be left out of image descriptions. These include:
- Descriptions of colors- no need to describe what red looks like
- Obvious details such as someone having two eyes, a nose, and a mouth
- Details that are not the focus of the picture
- Overly poetic or detailed descriptions
- Multiple punctuation marks
I talk about some of these details in my post on texting etiquette and low vision here.