Guest author: Victoria Zigler – Infographics

indistinct trees on a foggy day

Pictures and infographics.  Wonderful things, aren’t they?

Everyone seems to think so.  But I don’t.  Personally, I hate infographics, and find picture heavy posts annoying.

We live in a world where it’s assumed you have all five of your senses, and nothing makes that clearer than the current trend of replacing text filled posts with infographics.  For those who actually do have all five senses, this is a great thing, and apparently serves to save time, allowing them to fit in more blog reading time each day.  This is a good thing, right? Well, yes, it is.  After all, we all want as many people as possible to visit our blogs, so the more blogs each person can visit, the more chance we have of one of those blogs being our own.

But what about those of us who are missing one of those senses? What about the visually impaired bloggers out there?

Popular opinion seems to be that there are very few disabled people online.  But, while this may be true in comparison with the number of non-disabled internet users in the world, this fact is not entirely accurate.  You see, modern technology has made things like the internet more accessible than ever before to those of us who otherwise would have been excluded, such as the visually impaired community.  Yet, as the internet itself becomes more accessible to us, the content people are posting upon it becomes less so.

Yes, we have screen readers.  Screen readers are wonderful things.  They read the text on the screen to those of us who can’t read it for ourselves.  However, if there’s no text for it to read, a screen reader is useless.  Pictures without labels, or descriptions of some kind, posted amid text filled post are frustrating mysteries, but infographics are even more so, and turn a potentially interesting blog post in to something completely unfathomable, thereby making the visually impaired person feel excluded.

Of course, I know this is not intentional.  In fact, I expect most people aren’t even aware there’s a possibility that visually impaired people may be reading their blog.  But that’s why I wrote this: to make you aware of the possibility of visually impaired readers, and why I – and others like me – hate infographics and picture heavy posts.

Naturally, you don’t want to stop posting pictures and infographics.  Of course you don’t.  Which is totally fine.  Hey, even I’m guilty of doing posts with several pictures in them from time to time.  Besides, it does seem that the majority of people out there prefer just looking at pictures.  Which is also totally fine.

So, what can you do to stop your visually impaired readers from feeling excluded, while still posting the pictures your sighted readers love?

It’s simple, really.  All you need to do is add a little description to go with your images and infographics.  It doesn’t take much time to do, isn’t difficult to achieve, and still allows your sighted readers to enjoy the pictures and infographics you planned to post.  But that little thing, which takes up only a few extra moments of your time, will mean a lot to your visually impaired readers, who will no longer feel excluded.


Images can be captioned or use the ‘alt text’ box in the image file to write a description.

The ‘title’ of the image can be descriptive and can even include text from within images, such as a haiku, that can then be picked up by text-reading software.

Use a clear background with good contrast for text to improve visibility for partially sighted and ageing eyes and a standard, reasonably-sized font.

Make sure that links are labelled clearly to indicate where they lead.

Take care when using coloured text that they remain readable with good contrast.


Find and follow Victoria

Blog     Website    Facebook    Amazon    Smashwords

Goodreads    Twitter@VictoriaZigler


Kelly, Kero and VictoriaAbout the author

Victoria Zigler is a blind poet and children’s author who was born and raised in the Black Mountains of Wales, UK, and is now living on the South-East coast of England, UK. Victoria – or Tori, if you prefer – has been writing since she knew how, has a very vivid imagination, and spends a lot of time in fictional worlds; some created by her, others created by other authors. When she remembers to spend some time in the real world, it’s mostly to spend time with her hubby and pets, though sometimes to indulge in other interests that capture her attention from time to time, such as doing crafts, listening to music, watching movies, playing the odd figure game or roleplaying game, and doing a little cooking and baking. To date she has published 7 poetry books and more than 40 children’s books, with more planned for the near future. She’s also contributed a story to the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Wyrd Worlds II.


The Magical Chapters Trilogy

cover of witchletWitchlet

In a world where everyone thinks witches are warty old women, a powerful and short tempered 9 year old is trying to find her place in the world, and make amends for something that happened when she was only 3. Her name is Paige, and she can bend the elements to her rather strong will. But can she convince people to accept her for who she is? This is the first book in the “Magical Chapters” trilogy.

“Even though I am well past my sell-by date, the child in me is looking forward to reading Victoria’s next book in the series.” Chris Graham, the Story Reading Ape.


The Pineapple Loving Dragoncover the pineapple loving dragon

Everyone knows the mountains are full of dragons, and everyone also knows those dragons are dangerous monsters who eat people. So when the people from the town notice that one of them has a young boy with it they set out to rescue him. But Daisy isn’t like other dragons; she’s sweet and kind, and just happens to be a vegetarian. Unfortunately, the only people who know this are a 9 year old witch named Paige, and a 10 year old orphan named Luke. Can Paige and Luke convince everyone else that Daisy isn’t dangerous? This is the second book in the “Magical Chapters” trilogy.


cover- a magical stormA Magical Storm

There’s something about birthdays that make you think about the past, and now that she’s celebrating her 10th birthday, that’s just what Paige is doing. But nothing could bring those memories so clearly to the surface better than an uninvited party guest from her past who wont even meet her gaze. Now Paige’s anger and frustration are threatening to over-power the control she has over her magic; can she learn to control her temper before it’s too late? This is the third book in the “Magical Chapters”.


Victoria is a prolific writer with too many books to list.

Find Victoria’s books on  Smashwords

covers of Zeena booksand Amazon

a selection of zigler book covers

If you would like to be my guest, please read the guidelines and get in touch!

be my guest graphic

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She has written a number of books, both alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com
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34 Responses to Guest author: Victoria Zigler – Infographics

  1. Ritu says:

    Such sensible, simple advice that most of us probably do overlook! Thank you for raising this so we can be much more aware 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So important. Thank you for sharing, Sue.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d already got caught out with the coloured text thing, but we do seem to take so much for granted with our readers. Great for the reminder.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks for posting this, Sue!

    Yes, I do have too many books to list them all individually. At least, unless you want the post to become extremely long.

    Like

  5. Great post! You’ve definitely given me something to think about in the future. I will be more mindful of all types of readers. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Mary Smith says:

    Good post. I have a friend who uses a screen reader and the other thing which annoys her is when people put floaty things – such as butterflies or little hearts – which move up and down the screen. It confuses the screen reader.

    Like

  7. Reblogged this on newauthoronline and commented:
    A great guest post by my author friend Victoria (Tori) Zigler. I, (like Tori) am blind and use screen reading software which converts text into speech and braille enabling me to access my computer. As Tori points out, picture heavy posts (lacking any descriptive text) are wholly useless to blind computer users. There are (as Tori points out) ways to utilise pictures while still making posts meaningful to visually impaired readersfor example by adding descriptive texts to images. Kevin

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is a great post Tori and (as a blind screen reader user I endorse all that you say). In addition to the issue of images lacking any description, I also find it annoying when music starts playing (with no obvious way of disabling it) when one clicks on a post. When you are, as a visually impaired person attempting to listen to your screen reading software (which is competing against music) it is, frequently the music which drowns out the access software thereby rendering the reading of the post impossible or virtually so. Music is great, for example a youtube clip imbeded into a post, but only when one has the option as to whether to play it. Kevin

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for the heads up, Sue. Some things need repeating. I confess I have forgotten. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for the reminder to write the image descriptions, Victoria!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. By the way… Thank you to those who shared the post on social media sites… I very much appreciate your doing so.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on Don Massenzio's Blog and commented:
    Check out this guest post by Victoria Zigler on the topic of infographics via Sue Vincent’s blog

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Victoria. It is something we can all easily rectiffy, and it will make a huge difference.

    Liked by 1 person

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