Ensure that we are providing text alternatives for people who can’t see the icon or image in the
<area> element of a image map.
Why this matters
- Assistive technology provides the alternative text to people using screen readers or Braille displays. If you don’t provide alternative text, it reads the file name.
- Browsers provide the alt text to all users if the image doesn’t load. Alt text ensures that a broken or missing image file doesn’t break the usability of the page.
How to implement
- See MDN’s article <map> for implementing an image map.
How to test
- Right-click and inspect the element in the browser’s developer tools. Ensure that each
<map> <area>has an
altattribute and that it’s set to a value.
- Assuming it does have a value, ensure that the title matches your Writer’s expectations.
- HTML validators might identify
<area>elements without valid
- Note that you still have to do manual testing to ensure it’s the correct wording in the alt attribute! Automated testing won’t warn you that you labeled a hockey stick with the alt text “cheese”.