Does Race Belong to Alt Text - a Step-by-step Guide
You’ve probably been in confusing situations with image alt text. Occasionally you might ask yourself: “Should I include the subject’s race, hairstyle, and age?”. I’ve certainly been there. It makes sense since a lot of us feel unsure that our email might look unprofessional with some inappropriate alt text.
The topic is more nuanced, and it’s ok
Today I want to share with you the little hack. It always helps me in this tricky situation. It’s a simple step-by-step algorithm.
- Write as descriptive alt text as you desire.
- Go through every written word and see if each one is important to the context of the photo.
- If you spot a word that doesn’t add anything to the context, then you can delete it.
This approach leads to the most relevant information for your readers. Also, there’s less chance that your alt text will get truncated by some picky email client (yes, I’m talking about you, Outlook).
Advice from a pro
Najee Bartley is a recognizable figure in the sphere of email marketing. She is an email and web developer who shared her take on the issue of mentioning race in alt texts. Najee said that race should not be mentioned unless absolutely necessary. She also made a point that even in those cases, "black woman" should be replaced with "a woman of color".