Simple accessibility heuristics for UX walkthroughs

Moore, Kathleen E kemoore at
Fri Sep 7 17:24:32 UTC 2007

It works in Win Firefox. (the "hover over images to check for alt 
text" technique)


Kathleen Moore
Web Manager, Information Technology Services
BU School of Management
kemoore at
-----Original Message-----
From: fluid-work-bounces at
[mailto:fluid-work-bounces at] On Behalf Of Colin Clark
Sent: Friday, September 07, 2007 1:18 PM
To: Greg Gay
Cc: fluid-work at
Subject: Re: Simple accessibility heuristics for UX walkthroughs


Good point, I'll definitely add the "hover over images to check for alt 
text" technique. Do you know if this works in browsers other than IE 6?


Greg Gay wrote:
> Hi Colin
> The only thing I might add is a check for text alternatives for
> content. Usually that means including Alt text with images, but also
> for image buttons, clientside Map areas, etc, and empty Alt for
> meaningless or decorative images. Unfortunately it normally means
> examining HTML, though in IE 6 if one holds a mouse pointer over an
> image with Alt text, it will display.
> Missing text alternatives for visual content is the #1 accessibility
> barrier, and as such is listed in the guidelines as the first
> requirement for compliance (WCAG 1.0 Guideline 1.1)
> greg
> Colin Clark wrote:
>> Hi everyone,
>> I've drafted a page that outlines the simple heuristics I have been 
>> using for the UX walkthroughs while evaluating accessibility:
>> To be clear, this is intended as an easy process that anyone can pick
>> relatively quickly, even without any expertise in accessibility. It 
>> isn't intended as a substitute for testing with real assistive 
>> technologies, evaluation tools, and an "under the covers" inspection
>> the markup.
>> On the other hand, they're easy, low cost, and don't require any 
>> substantial technical or accessibility expertise. A perfect fit for 
>> anyone doing a UX walkthrough of Moodle, uPortal, or Sakai.
>> Thoughts? Suggestions?
>> Colin

Colin Clark
Technical Lead, Fluid Project
Adaptive Technology Resource Centre, University of Toronto
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