Web Accessibility Basics

Decorative Images

Oftentimes, a designer may decide that is not necessary to provide an alternative text description because the image does not relay any meaningful information. In those situations, it is recommended that you use a null tag (i.e., alt=""). For example,

HTML code snippet:

<img src="newborn-ducks.jpg" alt="" />

Now, try reading the image below. What does the screen reader announce?

Screen Reader Testing Activity:

Turn on NVDA. Press the down arrow key to move through the web page.

Did you hear anything? Probably not. The null tag tells the screen reading application to skip over the image, essentially hiding it from the screen reader user.

What about complex images like charts, graphs, infographics, etc.? Should we use alt text for those?

Visit the Complex Images page for more information.