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Twitter Media Accessibility

This is a project in collaboration with folks from the former Twitter's Accessibility team. It is heavily focused in creating an accessible experience for users accessing media on the platform.

Solution - Alt Text Community - After3.png


March - May 2022

Team Role

I co-managed the project and contributed to the user experience research, UI/UX, user personas, user survey and dissemination, user flow, and presentation. Individually, I made part 2 of the proposed solution, created research insights and goals, made the presentation more accessible, ensured quality storytelling and flow, and recorded the video and voiceover.


(Former) Twitter Accessibility Team

Problem Statement

"Media on Twitter is predominantly visual, such as data visualizations, emoji, and picture stickers - presenting challenges to users who have cognitive, learning, or sensory disabilities." - (Former) Twitter Accessibility Team

  • How to make these media types more accessible?

  • To narrow it down...GIFs don’t have enough context information, making it difficult for people who are blind/low vision to identify and proactively use GIFs.

Target Users

Blind/low vision folks who want to better understand the meaning of the GIF they receive and revisit preexisting accessible GIFs.


Our two user personas each have their challenges and frustrations with accessible GIFs.

For Jada, she:

  • realizes there's low awareness and low utilization of alt text

  • understands that most GIFs that include alt text don't portray the emotions of it well

  • noticed that she has to add alt text to the same GIFs each time she posts or DMs

  • sees that there's an inconsistency with alt badges sometimes appearing

For Stacy, she:

  • is aware that it is hard to understand what the media she receives means if it lacks alt text

  • feels limitations when sharing media due to not fully understanding GIFs

  • has a hard time locating her favorite GIFs

Our two user personas also each have their goals and needs with accessible GIFs.

For Jada, she:

  • wants to use the same GIFs without having to add alt text each time

  • would like to share accessible trending GIFs with her friends

  • wants to contribute to a growing collection of accessible GIFS

For Stacy, she:

  • aims to send her favorite GIFs that can convey her emotions accurately

  • wants others to be more aware of adding alt text to GIFs

  • would like a place to save her favorite GIFs

Solution (Part 1/2) - Alt Text Community



Introducing the Alt Text Community, a feature where everyone is welcomed to contribute writing alt text to a growing collection of GIFs. To access this feature, simply click the newly added button when viewing an alt text.

Once the user opens the new interface, they will be able to view all the descriptions for that GIF and upvote the best one. The top liked description will become the alt text everyone sees.

Solution (Part 2/2) - Favorite GIFs Collection


In direct messages, accessing the GIF library will have a newly added section titled "My favorites".


Saved GIFs with alt text will now be ready for reuse, creating a better ecosystem of accessible media.


During our research, we received responses from 224 survey participants who answered various questions about how they access social media, its contents, and alt text.

Q: In general, do you access popular social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc.) more through...

Survey result: Only 14.3% of the 224 participants access social media platforms through their web

Q: When you post/DM others, which do you include the most (in addition to plain text)?

Survey Result: GIFs came in second for what people tend to include in their posts or DMs.

Q: When you send media (image, GIFs, videos), do you send more of...

Survey Result: Nearly half of the participants send media saved from others.

Q: Do you often use same GIFs?

Survey Result: There are nearly 40% of users who love to collect media in addition to reusing the same GIFs.

Q: Do you know what alt text is?

Survey Result: Over 40% of participants have never heard of alt text.


  • Designing for a mobile experience since it will have the largest impact

  • Creating a way for media transferred between users to become more accessible

  • Create an encouraging way to get users to contribute to the alt text community

  • Users need an onboarding process to learn about alt text

User Flow

This user flow shows how Stacy and Jada access accessible GIFs.

Stacy's user flow:

  1. Compose message

  2. Open GIF library

  3. Pick out a GIF category or go to My favorites

  4. Listen to the voice over's description

  5. Pick out a GIF

  6. Send text and GIFs to Jada

Jada's user flow:

  1. Receive message from Stacy and save the GIF to My favorites for future use

  2. Pick out a GIF category

  3. Add on alt text to the GIF or pick out a GIF with alt text badge

  4. Send text and GIFS back to Jada (any newly sent accessible GIFs will now be available for Stacy to save)


We were able to pitch a feature to Twitter! The entire Twitter Accessibility team had mentored us throughout the process and gave us feedback.

We also achieved our goals of:

  • Designing for a mobile experience

  • Creating a way for media transferred between users to become more accessible

  • Designing an encouraging way to get users to contribute to the alt text community

  • Onboarding users to learn about alt text


To better our understanding of how a user might use our feature, my teammate and I heavily researched ways to make a design accessible. We also tried using our phone's voice over mode, which was a challenge since we weren't used to it.

Take Aways

I learned and gained so much about user experience and accessibility principles. Through weekly meetings with the Twitter Team, I was able to shape the proposed feature into something that had accessibility at its core as well as overall usefulness.

Pitch Deck

This is what my teammate and I showed to the Twitter Accessibility team.

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