The Best of the Internets

Making Accessible Futures

Sounds like this was an awesome workshop!

George Williams, one of the workshop organizers and author of the chapter “Disability, Universal Design, and the Digital Humanities” in Debates in the Digital Humanities (2012), offered the example of the curb cut, which, as he says in his chapter, was designed to facilitate wheelchair users crossing the street, but “became recognized as useful also to other people such as someone making a delivery with a dolly, a traveler pulling luggage on wheels, a parent pushing a child in a stroller, or a person walking beside their bicycle.” Williams urged us to recognize the broad benefits of accessible design, while also raising questions about the “universal” in universal design.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Everyone has special needs and not all of them revolve around disabilities.

There will be another Accessible Futures workshop this Fall. If you have the opportunity, you should go.

Web vs. Native: Let’s Concede Defeat

I could not agree more with PPK on this: Native apps and websites shouldn’t be in competition. Each has its pros and cons.

If the user doesn’t want your icon on his home screen, if the user wants a just-in-time interaction, it’s the web they want — not because of any inherent technological superiority, but because it’s hassle-free. Go there, read, forget. No junk left on your phone.

Most businesses don’t stand a chance of ending up on the users’ home screens. So they need the web — but not a web that emulates native to no particular purpose.

Even Tiny Updates to Tech Can Be Obstacles for the Disabled

Paul Kotler shares some of his struggles as a technology user with both autism and apraxia, including those you may not have considered:

For me, every step forward in making things lighter and smaller is a new obstacle. Often, the buttons I need to hit are too small, the screen too sensitive, or the glare off the screen too distracting to allow me to make use of my device. Updates to operating systems or apps that create slight changes to the size and position of buttons throw me off for days. While these changes might go unnoticed by a typical user, I endure a relearning process that slows me down and makes it more difficult to communicate.

Want to Become an Expert? Study (Web) History

I could not agree more:

This is about getting other web professionals to better understand our field. To be correct in what they say about the past, when trying to educate others. To not make false statements, based on lack of knowledge or direct experience, which lead to wrong assumptions and misinformed decisions about code and architectures.

World White Web

This project—from a Swedish student—seeks to address the issue of the dominance of “whiteness” online by asking you to share pictures of non-white hands in order to make them more visible in Google Image Search. Admittedly, it’s a drop in the bucket when it comes to increasing the visibility of colored people online, but as Ovid famously said: “Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence” (Gutta cavat lapidem, non vi, sed saepe cadendo).