D3. Difficulty locating metadata

Situation Definition:

A situation that arises from difficulty in finding the metadata for a DL item.

Factor(s) Leading to the Situation:

    • Inadequate support:

Guideline or Design Recommendation:

    1. Offer a quick and easy way to find each element of the

      for an

    2. Offer a quick and easy way to identify each element of the metadata for an item

Rationale and Objective:

is not the content itself, but rather descriptive information about the content. It may include information about the type, subject, author, place, etc. Sometimes metadata is placed far away from a page title, which makes it difficult for

users to locate. The design of a DL may inform users that metadata is available by providing a link or by placing the metadata directly below the page title. Providing a header for the metadata section will help BVI users locate it.

Techniques and Methods:

1.1. Present

directly below or near the item
1.2. Provide an internal link to a metadata section if metadata cannot be placed close to the

1.3. Use heading tags for the metadata section
2.1. Provide consistent

for metadata elements throughout a DL
2.2. Provide

for the definition of each element of metadata

Recommended Features:

1.2. Internal links (See example 1.2)
1.3. Section headings (See example 1.3)
2.1. Consistent

(See example 2.1)

(See examples 2.2.a and 2.2.b)


1.2. Internal link: Good design

When a user clicks “View Description”, it leads to the Metadata section directly.

View Description option in emphasis box under "15 - March to protest recent police action in Selma, Alabama, March 13, 1965"

1.3. Section headings: Good example

March on Milwaukee uses a heading tag for section heading of metadata (Item Description).

March on Milwaukee page with <h2> element applied to Item Description on ARIA attributes "aria-controls="singleItemDescription"" and "aria-label="close Item Description details""

2.1. Consistent labels: Good design

Labels of each metadata element have been applied consistently.

Item page for Deseret Alphabet p.1 with metadata elements Description, Partner, Contributing Institution, and SubjectsItem page for Button, "Support Disability Rights" with metadata elements Description, Partner, Contributing Institution, and Subjects

2.2.a. Alt Text: Good design

Alt text is provided for the image so that BVI users know what this image is about, including what, when, and where.

A black-and-white photograph of a group of men walking through a city with the alt text "NAACP march to honor Martin Luther King Jr., with James Groppi in the center, 1968"

2.2.b. Alt Text: Bad design

No alt text is provided on the image so that BVI users do not know what the image is about.

A black-and-white photograph of construction barricades along the side of a road with a popup message stating "Null or empty alternative text. Alternative text is null or empty (alt="")."

Related Resources:

    1. Minnesota Historical Society. (2012). Electronic Records Management Guidelines. Retrieved from http://www.mnhs.org/preserve/records/electronicrecords/ermetadata.php

See Also:

Help-seeking Situations > D. Difficulty locating specific information, items, or features