Naming images for visually impaired people

| April 29, 2013 | 0 Comments

I can’t imagine what it’s like navigating the internet without being able to see.

I talked about naming images for SEO a while ago. But I thought it’d also be interesting to look at naming images with visually impaired people in mind. How descriptive can you get without creating stupidly long file names?

Naming images – How to get it right

One of my recent posts included an image of a lion.  I called it ‘lion’. Which in retrospect isn’t really good enough.

‘Lion’ could mean a lion in the far distance set against the tawny African savannah. It might mean a lion’s silhouette against a fiery setting sun. Or a lion lounging in a tree, gnawing at a bloody chunk of prey. It’s actually a close-up of a lion’s face.

If I was visually impaired I’d appreciate more detail. Close-up-of-a-male-lion-face-in-golds-and-browns-with-a-bit-of-mane-showing.jpg would be silly. But something like male-lion-face-close-up.jpg would do a much better job of describing exactly what the image is than a one-word file name.

Of course you can include keyterms in image file names. But it’s a bad idea to take the mickey and risk the wrath of search engines. Take it easy and exercise common sense. Only include a keyterm if it’s strictly relevant to the image – in other words it helps blind site visitors ‘get’ the subject matter. People first, search engines second.


Category: miscellaneous

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I’ve had a passion for words all my life and this is my twelfth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve wood and rock, garden, read, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I collect modernist paintings, vintage rugs and mid-century German art pottery. I’m a member of The Poetry Society. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a ‘Lookerer’.

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