design & social responsibility

panel. moderator from knowability.

“who’s going to clean up this mess?”

don’t recognize the panelists, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. a Flash designer? huh. “nordic goddess of accessible flash”

they brought a bullhorn, and the powerpoint has cute photos. good deal.

being accountable for using technology to make basic human needs progressively and humanely.

what’s cool? throwing question out to the audience.

gordon: it’s always about a human, and then being humane in dealing with our users. (the word user isn’t exactly humane!) what do we need to do to get this off the ground? “dead customers?!”

24 virtual deaths per day! “start button to stop” — that’s why I have that shortcut on my taskbar “shiny red button”

this guy is really really high energy!

basically everything sux. (I NEVER use clear buttons.) reminds me of that webvisions presentation. (who was that again?) is there good news?

future could be rosy, but maybe not. “change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”

design as power to change! and we are all complicit. (I should make friends with somebody at CIS, instead of always just grumbling.)
think like your user.
silly bullhorn moment…step away from the visuals. lists and notes. HTML prototyping…I find a piece of paper with postits helpful, too.


what is technology? when you create something that improves people’s lives. things I feel that way about at work: the book exchange. the events calendar. the evening admin calendar. some of the wordpress installs.

why should you ever have to retype all the contacts into your cellphone? (I’ve only ever had the one, but I’ve had that issue with address books.)

tech as utility.

“technology should [be?!] simple”

how many features are in Word? 47,219. 😉

why is he leaving the “be” out of all his slides.

discussion of synchronizing address books. (oy, that’s a story worth telling! I still get searches related to my attempt to help C organize his Tbird contacts.)
there we go: “technology should be contextual” — all the verbs in place. goes with yesterday’s play session.

maslow’s hierarchy of needs!

given enough tech all human problems are superficial. ????? really? well, okay, “a utility that supports the solution”

a zen approach: we are not important. we should be transparent.

eaton: visual designers represent. accessible != boring.

clearing flash’s name. good tool for kids with learning disabilities. huh. should talk to Elizabeth (hi!) and to Betty’s replacement, whoever that turns out to be.

mainstreaming. (again, Elizabeth, also my bestest junior high friend Thao.) 96% of disabled students are mainstreamed. (of 6.2 million) is the law for schools to provide accessible content.

giving the disabled student the experience…and to disabled kids, technology is often everything. blind kid with gps, palm pilot, phone w/mp3 player, laptop w/out screen. (damn.)

accessible puzzle. an element deemed inaccessible: drag and drop. for mobility impaired (and blind?): match pieces to parts of a sentence, use keyboard. seems weird, but then again, I’m damn near learning disabled on the audio channel.

in flash, if you work towards accessible, then you get usability as a bonus. macromedia-recommended best practices.

can’t afford it? like all accessibility, cheaper if you do it up front. checklists help. yes, takes more time, but not out of control, and worth it.

“show social maturity” — I think that’s lingo that works well in an academic setting. (hey, I’m in an academic setting!)

moderator question: how do you communicate this message to clients? eaton rambles on, gordon jumps in: grassroots approach. we need to talk to the others. (lost reference? ::shrug::) ruger has noticed that people who champion this in the org are not good at selling. in his situation he can dictate. 🙂 need to be better at selling. a good salesperson talks about the client’s (customer’s) business, not the product. and ANYTHING that isn’t thought about in the beginning is going to be expensive to retrofit.

what about grassroots orgs that aren’t accessible?, etc.

demo the game without visual output? tell QA that one test is to turn the screen off. and the projector has been turned off. example of something that went wrong.

question from a guy who does web for the feds. doesn’t understand why we have to sell clients on accessibility…why isn’t it just included in the bid? we have to protect our clients from themselves. I think he’s entirely right. good comparison, too: we don’t tell them, “we’re using Java because it has good iterators.”

ruger has experience with clients giving ludicrous requirements. gordon doesn’t believe in “sales” per se…death to advertising & all that. “be the change” — build the thing the way it ought to be. again: we’re complicit. (a theme of my novel, btw.)

back to the demo, what about with JAWS or whatever: do they fight? yes, but “self-reading” is best for younger users, kids don’t use screen readers until 1st grade, don’t get good until 5th/6th.

the social responsibility issue in re: the basics, access in rural communities, etc. moderator: what you’re doing is what we’re talking about. gordon: is there any one small thing you can do? investing in satellite phones.

how do you show off accessibility skills with non-disabled clients who don’t know?

ruger: we demo ancillary benefits. or pick simple examples.
“git’er done”

4 Replies to “design & social responsibility”

  1. I remain jealous of you, since your big sister institution to the north didn’t think sending any of us to SxSW was worth the money.

    Do you know if the notes on accessible Flash are available online? We’re having an ongoing discussion on accessibility and usability, right now being driven by the nightmare that is the redesigned website none of us like and none of us were involved in.

  2. heh…I sent myself. it’s my Xmas present to myself, which I’ll probably be paying for for a while.

    the presentation is online (see link with her name), but no notes, unless somebody else here went into more detail than I did.

    and *that* sounds like a “fun” project…. 😛

  3. Thanks for attending the session. We had a lot of great questions. Let me know if you have any other questions that we didn’t get a chance to cover.

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