Sufficient short text description

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Version 0: For review


This algorithm shall provide decision support to the users evaluating the sufficiency of short text descriptions.

Note: The decision, if this is presented to the users is left to the implementer.


If the image is not purely decorative and intended to be perceived by the users, the following rules should be applied for provision of an sufficient short text alternative:

If the image contains text and

  • the text in the image is not present as real text nearby or
  • the text is not only shown for visual effects or
  • the text in the image is not present otherwise,

the text must be provided.

If the image has any functional role, e.g. a link or button, the functionality must be explained.

If the image contributes meaning to the current page or context and it shows content that is not redundant to real text nearby

  • and it’s a simple graphic or photograph,

a brief description of the image in a way that conveys that meaning must be provided.

  • and it’s a graph or complex piece of information,

the information in the image must be described elsewhere on the page and a reference must be provided.