Posts by ogidesigns

User Experience Architect

ADA Compliancy

Being a Ux Designer and Front-End Developer, I am happy to see this big push for the focus on accessibility. When Ux meets ADA compliance it means more than creating a descriptive <alt> from a coding perspective. It means more than highly contrasted layouts from a design perspective. When it comes to interaction, if a user with working vision can immediately take action based on what they’ve read or have seen, then, someone who is visually impaired should be able to act upon something they want to do as soon as they hear it.

Before I consider the design I look at the copy, I read through it and I ask myself if at any point would I as a reader want to take action on any part of this? If so consideration of where links, forms, buttons should be placed should come into play for those who are visually impaired.

We shouldn’t make them read through the entire paragraph or list item (unless it is necessary for them to read through everything before taking action) to access a link or button.

For someone with working sight, sure a large button with some padding and margin around it looks great and makes me want to click it but it is so far removed from that associated paragraph that anyone visually impaired would find that button to be a hassle.

So what would I do? Place a link to take action right there in the midst of the paragraph and written content AND add that lovely giant flat button after the fact.

Give the visually impaired the ability to be instantly gratified.

Inclusive

Often times we don’t realize we’re being exclusive unless you’re in school or a closed-door meeting. Between the cliques since grade-school to social rankings of the world, we often find ourselves being exclusive even when we don’t intend to be.

So you can safely assume that whatever we design is also excluding someone who may want to use it.

I want to be the best Ux Designer this world has ever known, but some of the greatest…a few of the greatest minds get together and speak at conferences that cost the kind of money I am now only able to afford after seven years. SEVEN!

That’s a lot of time out of the main loop. I get that they have to cover costs but I don’t have to go to learn. Are they aware of how they’ve excluded the mass majority of the Ux Design population? Its not just them really anybody who throws a conference risks excluding anyone not making enough money to attend.

But they maybe making enough money to purchase access to watch the videos after the fact or even better in real time so that they can shoot questions.

It’s all about accessibility. If we as Ux Designers are so concerned about being inclusive we need to look at accessibility. In every aspect. When we build personas what are we missing?

When you build a site do you automatically assume that the user is like you, able to afford, fast, reliable internet connection from the comfort of their home. What if all they have is their smartphone that only has one bar and maybe two if they go to that one spot in their apartment? What if they only have access to the internet at McDonalds using their wifi? Or at the library with so many restrictions they maynot be able to pull up YouTube? Foreign countries? Language barriers? Out of date equipment?

Yes?

Thought so.

What about the visually impaired and those with hearing problems?

Those without TV, Netflix, Hulu, etc?

Those with bad credit and no bank account, only cash?

Those with no phone or computer?

Those without a car?

Youth without an involved legal guardian to take the time to help them signup for something.

Show me a design that doesn’t put someone at a disadvantage on purpose.

The Director

Let’s just get this out of the way and let me state that I adore my current team. Just this past weekend I attended one of my co-worker’s vow renewal with his wife of fifteen years and next to me sat my boss’ boss, The Director. Our team is like family, we joke with each other far more than we fight a 2400 x 3 ratio and that’s just within the last 6 months that I’ve been working with them.

The Director immediately stood out to me when he interviewed me. He used the word “family” and since then I’ve paid close attention to the way he directs the team, himself, and our role as a department within the company.

Our department’s name doesn’t explain what it is we do but we are a group of graphic designers, video producers, compositors, Ux designers, front-end developers, project managers, photographers, videographers, copywriters, animators, print designers, screenwriters, digital designers, and camera operators. We are a team of twelve, we each wear multiple hats, complimenting each other very well. At least two of us share a skill set: allowing us at least one other person to bounce ideas off of; at least one other person who knows, lives, and breathes our struggle; and at least one other person to be pinned up against you at some point in time to create a better design/project/etc. It is a collaborative and competitive environment and those we serve benefit from it.

Iron sharpens iron.

Let me reel it back in, I believe in the family approach when it comes to building a team and this is the first person that I’ve worked under that has built a team in this manner. I asked them how they do it, they say they go with their gut and then they hand them off to the rest of the family to get their take. This family can be intimidating. I know because I remember meeting them for the first time. So many people really comfortable with each other, like a family, that gets along with one another.

So how did the Director do it? I have no clue but I can speak to the way they have carried themselves and the way I believe anyone leading a team/department should carry themselves: Continue reading →