My friend Elaina Natario wrote a fantastic article for the thoughtbot blog on the difference between
figcaption, and when to use which one.
While both the
altattribute and the
figcaptionelement provide a way to describe images, the way we write for them is different.
altdescriptions should be functional;
figcaptiondescriptions should be editorial or illustrative.
If the difference between the two is confusing to you (like it is for me), do yourself a favor and go read Elaina’s whole article.
It’s very good, very good detailed, and has some great examples of when to use one, the other, or both in conjunction.