Web Standard: Graphic Selection and Screen Layout
A graphic is an image, in the .gif, .jpg/.jpeg, or .png format.
- Choose graphics carefully. They must provide information, navigation, or visual organization, or serve an obvious purpose.
- Use small graphics sparingly to add visual appeal. Such images must still be relevant to the content. Avoid adding pictures because they are pretty.
- Do not use graphics to display text.
- Captions and alternative text:
- Provide text alternatives in compliance with Section 508 accessibility standards.
- If you provide an explicit text caption, use empty alternative text (alt=""), so people with visual disabilities will not hear redundant information.
- If the connection between image and nearby text content on the page is visually obvious, it is not necessary to provide a caption. However, if a caption is not provided, you must then use alternative text to describe the image's contents or function for visually impaired visitors.
- Do not infringe on copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights.
- Do not use “splash” graphics or banners that are the width of the page.
- It pushes down the content
The two screen shots below show how much more content is visible with graphics to the right at the top of the page. No content changes; only the graphic placement differs.
About this Standard
Effective date: 03/13/2006
Date approved: 09/12/2012
Web Council review by: 09/02/2014 (or earlier if deemed necessary by the Web Council)