Alt Attribute for Image Element

I have worked on eCommerce web/mobile application, where there are 100000+ items on the website.
Most of the items in the eCommerce site have images.

The Images gets updated/uploaded frequently. Either by Content Source Team or Via Third-Party Integration (It means, images changed on Third Party website automatically updates the eCommerce Item Images).
So, most of them happen randomly.

In this case, Images will not have alt attribute with text as it is very time-consuming for the content departments.

As per accessibility testing, can we just add alt=" " attribute for the image element?

Hello @srinivasskc!

I believe accessibility testing could identify the absence of an alt attribute and you might identify it as a defect. I don’t believe that means the content must be changed.

Testing, regardless of the type or technique, is an information journey. The result identifies opportunities for change or improvement. It is rarely the responsibility of a tester to decide which changes or improvements to make.

In my opinion, the answer to your question is no.



Leaving the alt attribute blank is essentially the same as not using one in the first place, and would raise accessibility issues like Joe mentioned.

If they are updated by the content source team, can they not put the alt attribute in at the same time as upload?

Likewise, if by a third party integration, can you use the alt attribute from their site when you pull through the images? Assuming they use them as well.

Third party don’t use alt attribute. And Content team has not uploaded anytime. So engineers use ‘No Image’ as alt text.

An images with alt="" is a defect as the information in alt text helps visually impaired users. If you have problems in persuading people to agree that this is a defect I would refer them to the wcag documentation such as:

While alt-text is very important it is permissible to have none in the right circumstances. When the image is purely decorative or has no important information. So as examples;
An article on traffic flow has an image of a traffic jam. The image does not add anything unless its a specific example of something referred to in the article.
An image of the Twitter logo is shown next to the word Twitter, which is the link. If alt-text was added it would duplicate the information read out so is unnecessary.
The section on when not to use alt-text explains it well in this article,

For @srinivasskc it will be important to understand if all these images are offering important information or all (or mostly) decorative. If that’s the case then it might be useful to focus on the important images and ensure they are described appropriately.


yes, true. But srinivas was talking about eCommerce Item Images so I am presuming that these are images that the user would benefit from having alt text

I am taking example of an ecommerce site, which i had looked upon…

It had Categories with Category Images but alt text = “No Image”

What is the role of the Category Images? What information are the images to convey?

Example - Batteries is a category and Battery image is displayed.

The important information here is the battery type and size etc. not what it looks like. As long as there is no additional information in the image and everything is described in the main text I think it would be ok to not have any alt-text for this example.