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.

Glory

Whatever you do, do it for glory

I am about to get a bit biblical on you. If this were church I would say do it for the glory of God. So let’s get real, when you are creating an interface for anything less than to be the best, to win an award it is just something created to fix a problem.

Research, Design, Solve and Build solutions that are ground-breaking. If not then there is something else out there that would’ve solved it. You would’ve easily solved the problem without all this work you put into to just “solve a problem” to just “shut a user group up” to just…to just isn’t enough.

Sure you’ll be helping a few people, but that’s just a few when you could help a whole multitude of people who didn’t even know they needed to be helped!

If you think your design is that “ish”, judge not before the appointed time. Until your designs are reviewed by a panel of professionals. Until word comes back if what you’ve put together is as great as you think it tobe. Well do you even think it’s that great? Are you proud of your work?

Design something you’d be proud of.

Conduct your research in a way to create something ground-breaking. Find places where others have failed and you can reign. If God is in the details, be specific.

If someone else can get credit for something you put together, it isn’t your work, not really, you just brought a few things together to create something different, but not something new.

Glory is achieved when people can see past the well crafted design and pickup on something unique, something new, breathtaking and they can put their finger on it. Whether it be a feeling or an action that is felt immediately and they then go back to see what exactly it was. That, now that’s glory.

I do beg of you tho, do it for the service of your craft, your industry, not for the popularity. Exploit the process not the designer. Be concerned about quality of your work. Quality research begets quality analysis, begets quality design, begets clean code, begets quality service. When you have doubters, people who wish to question your approach, you’re on the right path.

Study the rules, the best practices, the elements of design before you break them.

Empathy vs Sympathy

Empathy vs Sympathy

As I update my portfolio, I have thought on the projects that were ground-breaking, pin-pointing the needs of the user and those that have missed the mark. I know that it isn’t for a lack of empathy; I care about my users and clients.

So what sets these projects apart? My execution of design generally stays the same from project type to project type. It has is the foundation: the research.

Empathy is great but it holds no candle to sympathy. True sympathy comes from understanding another person’s difficulties by suffering the same affliction. The projects in which I not only shadowed a few key users to represent a user group, but also tried out their role for a while, helped me sympathize.

I can not truly design a helpful and graceful experience to my users without paying a price myself. Affliction, seeing difficulties myself, experiencing the tedious nature of an interface and where it falls short is the cost that I pay for the ability to sympathize with my users.

If I truly want to help my users and clients I must understand how they are suffering. It them becomes a rescue mission. To think of immediate steps I can take to alleviate the situation. This is how I can strip my dream concept down, to the MVP. Knowing the suffering my user’s experience first hand allows for a quick ideation to get the ball rolling.

I know I have reached my goal when my users stop suffering.

Companies don’t always need a big budget to do large amounts of testing, surveys, etc. They need one or more Ux Designers who are willing to get dirty and experience what their users are experiencing.