CP 7 Specify full descriptions for informational images

Complex images such as charts, diagrams and graphs need more description than simple alternative test alone (see CP 6 ) can reasonably display.

  • Add a longer description:
    • On the same page, near the image (recommended);
    • On a separate page, linked using:
      • A normal text link to the description (recommended),
      • A '[d]' link placed after the image to point to the URL (use a normal link if possible - the use of [d] links is becoming less common and less well known).
  • If providing a description on a separate page, the resulting linked page should contain all of the following:
    • A clear title;
    • An appropriate description of the complex image;
    • A link back to the original page.
  • The description itself should convey the essential informationthat you are trying to provide by including the image - don't over do it if unnecessary, for example for a graph:
    • 'Trend in ...'
      • describe key aspects and trends if that is what is essential;
    • Individual data points:
      • place in a table or list if the individual data points are important.

Note - added bonus: Long descriptions assist all potential users to extract the essential information - they help you explain your intention for including the image.

The descriptions will also be indexed by search engines - making your information easier to discover.

Note - an additional way to add a long description: If placing the long description on another page, you can use the longdesc attribute of an image. This is just a bit of code that contains the web address of the long description and can be used by screen reader users to get to it. Your content management system or templates may support this, or you could ask the person who publishes the web content to add it.

A complicated graph with two data lines showing sales over 12 months - requires long description  2 differnt decriptions for the same graph. First details the trends, second details all data points - choice is dependent on the reason for the graph. Both pages are correctly formatted HTML with a return link.