ISSUE-21: We should have a conversation about decoration vs. pure decoration

We should have a conversation about decoration vs. pure decoration

State:
OPEN
Product:
HTML & ARIA Techniques TF
Raised by:
David MacDonald
Opened on:
2014-05-26
Description:
We should have a conversation about decoration vs. pure decoration http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#puredecdef "serving only an aesthetic purpose, providing no information, and having no functionality" I think we need to provide more guidance on that. A lot of web sites are providing photos which enhance the visual experience, but it is iffy if the information is useful to those who are blind. Like a CSS image of a pharmacist on a pharmacy web site, or a picture of pills on the pill department.

The HTML5 text alternatives doc from Steve talks about this type of decorative image.
http://dev.w3.org/html5/alt-techniques/#sec5

I want to get a sense of how to interpret "no information and no functionality"
If we want to interpret it as Steve has, then we will need to update our understanding document to explain "no information, and no functionality" in the context they are being used...

http://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/text-equiv-all.html
We would have to amend the paragraph that starts "Sometimes there is non-text content that really is not meant to be seen or understood by the user." to incorporate some of the language Steve uses.
Related Actions Items:
No related actions
Related emails:
  1. Re: Cleaning up working branches (from cooper@w3.org on 2017-08-28)
  2. WCAG-ISSUE-21 (DavidMacD): We should have a conversation about decoration vs. pure decoration [HTML & ARIA Techniques TF] (from sysbot+tracker@w3.org on 2014-05-26)

Related notes:

The example in the alt guidance doc is 6.4 scroll down a bit from here:
http://dev.w3.org/html5/alt-techniques/#sec5

"Here is another example of the same image used in a different context. In this case it is used to add a bit of medieval themed decoration to an advertisement. As the image bears no direct relation to the content of the page it is considered appropriate to use an empty alt attribute. It can also be considered appropriate to provide a brief description of the image as some users who cannot view images appreciate having information provided about images of paintings and photographs regardless of the context in which the images are used. As decisions about when to provide a text alternative are based on context of use, both options are considered to be conforming, but it is recommended that a brief text alternative is provided."
... <p><img src="shalott.jpeg" alt=""></p>
<p>Join us for our medieval theme nights every Friday at
Boaters Bar,on the riverside, Kingston upon Thames.</p>

David MacDonald, 1 Jun 2014, 13:18:44

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