Chris Ashton

dai11y 21/09/2022

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Visit for a surprise

Eric Bailey raises the interesting dilemma of what link text you should provide on an ‘easter egg’ link to Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” YouTube video.

WCAG SC 2.4.4: Link Purpose (In Context) might indicate that you should let the user know exactly what’s at the end of that link. “YouTube: Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up (Official Music Video), contains auto-playing media”, or such like.

Alternatively, you could go the other way and just have alt text of “Cryptic icon” and provide no clue at all, like sighted users would experience.

Eric picks out an example from the WCAG docs and emphasises the last sentence:

The word guava in the following sentence “One of the notable exports is guava” is a link. The link could lead to a definition of guava, a chart listing the quantity of guava exported or a photograph of people harvesting guava. Until the link is activated, all readers are unsure and the person with a disability is not at any disadvantage.

The goal is to preserve the author’s intentional act, which is to create a sense of curiousity.

Eric eventually lands on “Visit for a surprise, contains autoplaying media”, arguing that “Cryptic icon” does not provide the enticement, and that it is important to at least flag that there’s autoplaying media. Ideally, he says, sighted users should be warned of this too.

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