I've been adding alt text to the photos in my patterns.
Alt text -- short for alternative text -- are written descriptions of a digital image. It appears when the image is missing, for instance. Alt text can also be read aloud on devices by blind and low-vision readers, so it's a way to improve accessibility.
Until recently, I'd been counting on the computer-generated alt text to do the job. Typical alt text for images in my patterns would read, "Person in a hat." Or "Hat, headdress, head covering."
At first, I thought these alt texts were OK, though awfully nonspecific. Then I realized that I could -- and should -- do better, adding the details that would give a fuller description of what's in the photo.
The necessity of writing my own alt text was brought home to me last week when I read the computer-generated alt text for the above photo. It read, "A hedgehog wrapped in a green blanket."
And underneath, this disclosure: "Description automatically generated with low confidence,"