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Thu, 09 Jun 2022 08:28:29 +0200
volpeon :: :vlpn_smol: -> :mastodont_v2: -> IO ()
wrote the following
Thu, 09 Jun 2022 06:37:50 +0200
Imagine you're using an online shop. What you'll typically see is a list of products where each list item has a small preview image, a product name and some other metadata.
Now imagine that the shop displays a long textual description for each product instead. This is what the timeline appears like to screen reader users if long image descriptions are used. And unlike people seeing the text, they don't have the luxury of skimming to grasp vital information quickly -- they have to wait for the screen reader to read it all.
In-depth descriptions are only helpful when the user has decided the content is interesting to them. Currently, most fedi frontends put them in the attachment's alt attribute, which is fine if the user is currently viewing a single post instead of the timeline. But on the timeline, it's much more important to have quick summaries instead.
In terms of the example above, it's the same difference as when viewing a single product vs. the product list. You're only interested in the details if a product is interesting to you.
Image description on fedi are a step up from having none at all, but they're still inadequate. Ideally, you could provide both a quick summary and an in-depth description, and the UI presents both in a way that's the most helpful.
Since this possibility doesn't exist, please consider keeping image descriptions short and putting the long description in the post body.
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