Some features of alt texts associated with images in Web pages (19 Jan 2006)
This study confirmed most of the hypothesized relationships, at least to some extent. GIF images were indeed more commonly assigned null alt texts than JPEG images. GIF files also clearly tended to be shorter than JPEG files. A weak positive correlation was observed between image file size and alt text length for GIF files; contrary what had been hypothesized, however, such a correlation was not found for JPEG files in the Yahoo! set. Alt texts for images from pages containing more images did tend to be shorter, but only weakly.
The explanations suggested for the observed relationships doubtless have some strength; but it is also clear from the weaknesses of the correlations observed, and especially from the partial failure of the hypothesis relating length of text to size of image file in the case of JPEG, that there are also other factors at work affecting how Web page creators describe the images on their pages.
Thus, the main implication of the present study is not so much in its having proved any surprising new findings as in, first, confirming some general ideas certain aspects of Web authoring behaviour and, second, in suggesting some future areas for more intensive research.Add this article to Del.icio.us