Why Alternative Texts for Images Should Be Limited to 125 Characters

Modified on Mon, 27 Nov 2023 at 03:30 PM

Learn why Knowledgeworker Create shows a recommendation to shorten long alternative texts. Don't have an authoring environment for digital training yet? Find out how to create interactive learning content with Knowledgeworker Create.

Why should alternative texts be kept short?

Limiting alternative texts to a maximum of 125 characters ensures that content is accessible to all users, especially those with visual impairments. Here are the main reasons for this recommendation:

  1. Incomplete Output by Screen Readers: Screen readers, used by blind and visually impaired individuals, often cannot effectively process longer alternative texts. They might either truncate the text or overwhelm users with unnecessarily long descriptions. A precise, concise alternative text facilitates understanding and enhances user experience.
  2. Clarity and Precision: Short alternative texts force the most important information of an image to be succinctly summarized. This leads to clearer and more direct descriptions that can be grasped more quickly.
  3. Consistency: Although there is no strict character limit for alternative texts on the web, web standards and accessibility best practices recommend keeping them short. This promotes a consistent and universal user experience.
  4. Usability: In situations where images do not load (e.g., due to slow internet connections), short alternative texts provide quick context without impacting the page's loading time.

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