Decorative Images

Put simply, decorative images are pictures or graphics that are:

  1. Used for aesthetic purposes (visual enhancements, decorations, embellishments)
  2. Provide no information
  3. Have no function (beyond aesthetics).

This is in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and with the HTML5 standard.

What does this mean for LiveWhale users?

When adding an image to your page, news story, event, or profile, you’re required to provide either a caption or description (ALT text).

This is because often such images are informative (graphs, charts, maps, product images, infographics, screenshots). Sometimes they’re functional (images acting as links). In both these cases, the images clearly need a text alternative that will be presented to visitors using screen-readers or other assistive technology.

In LiveWhale 2.6.0 and before, caption was required and used for ALT text. A separate “Description (ALT text)” field was added in LiveWhale 2.7.0 for cases where your screen-reader description and marketing caption might be different.

In LiveWhale, indicating that an image is decorative exempts you from needing to supply a caption or ALT text. Basically, it’s used for any images that a screen-reader should ignore.