When you work at Google, you get to spend 20% of your time doing something you think of yourself. Googlers Natalie Hammel and Lorraine Yurshansky decided to spend their time creating a web series about projects at Google. They call it “Nat & Lo’s 20% Project.”
Their videos are on YouTube. Watch the first one and you can subscribe to their YouTube channel and/or select the next video you want to watch. I suggest watching them all. You’ll get an inside view of some of the things that make Google so ubiquitous in your life.
A new industry-wide group is forming to establish models for teaching accessibility. Here’s their opening statement. Help if you can.
All technology companies that have worked on accessibility have faced a similar challenge of preparing designers, engineers and researchers to think and build inclusively. Similarly, academic programs in design, engineering and HCI are seeking ways to better prepare students to address the needs of diverse populations. Given this shared challenge, industry, academia and advocacy have now come together to create models for teaching and training students of technology to create accessible experiences. If you’re interested in working with us, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and @teachaccess.
The first 50 people to sign up for the Web Design from the Ground Up course at Udemy using the special code webteacher.ws will receive access to the class absolutely free. This is a class for beginners. Here’s what you’ll learn:
Over 38 lectures and 9.5 hours of content
Introduction to HTML and XHTML including the most commonly used elements like linking
Introduction to CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) for working with fonts, colors, and complete layout control
Web Graphics and Image manipulation with an introduction to Photoshop
Domain name registration – how it works, pointing your domain to your site, best practices and much more
How to put your site on the Internet, including choosing a web host, working with FTP, and much more
Accessibility – make your site visible to all users
Ecommerce with PayPal – setting up a shopping cart, integrating PayPal, making money with your site!
That’s a lot for 10 hours, so I’m guessing it will be basic info, but that’s what a beginner needs, isn’t it?
Many thanks to Udemy for making this special offer available to Web Teacher readers.
This infographic is from Usability Matters. It’s oriented toward business and financial reasons for accessibility. I might add that accessibility is important to anyone wanting your content, whether you’re selling something or not.
Types of impairments that may affect how people use your website
• Visual impairments such as low vision, colour blindness and blindness.
• Auditory impairments like people with restricted hearing or who are deaf.
• Mobility impairments such as inability to make fine movements or inability to use a mouse or keyboard.
• Cognitive impairments, which includes people with dyslexia, learning disabilities and even memory loss.
It’s bigger than you think!
Accessibility benefits people with or without disabilities, including:
• Older people and new users
• People who don’t have or are unable to use a keyboard/mouse
• People not fluent in English
• People with temporary disabilities due to accident/illness
3 reasons to make your website accessible
1. Increase your audience customer base
2. It may provide significant financial benefits
3. It’s the right thing to do legally and morally
Did you know?
People with a disability have a global annual spending power of $996 billion*.
Badass: Making Users Awesome by Kathy Sierra is from O’Reilly (2015). This book is about motivation and skills and progress and brain science. It shows you how to use motivation and skill levels and learning progress by being badass, by modeling badass, and by giving you the badass version of learning how to be badass.
If you know who Kathy Sierra is and what she’s already done as a writer and programmer, you’ll recognize what she’s talking about in this book. It’s been her topic before and she’s come back to it with a powerful teaching device – this book. Kathy’s premise is you don’t just want a great product, you want great users. You want users who find it easy to learn to be experts with your product. Even when your product is complicated and hard to learn to use at an expert level, if you approach helping users the right way, they will reach the badass level as users.
The book if full of lively graphics, funny illustrations, and simple but powerful charts.
This chart shows exactly how I feel about every new upgrade of Dreamweaver CC. Each time I open it, I go back into the suck zone on something. Getting the labels on form fields – oh, no, I suck. Creating a new selector in the style sheet – oh, no, I suck. Using the fucking fluid layout grid – oh, no, I suck. Kathy explains how to help users avoid that oh, no, I suck sensation with upgrades and with new skills mastery in general. The people at Adobe are definitely not using all of Kathy’s suggestions to help users move to badass with updates to their products.
Even something as basic as practicing a skill to get better at it has brain science examples to help you design experiences for users that let them practice the right way. There are also chapters on how to help users filter out brain spam so they can concentrate on things that matter. Here’s the table of contents:
Just looking at the table of contents tells you a lot about how this book works, and how Kathy Sierra uses her deep understanding of brain science and user experience to craft an experience for you that will leave you feeling badass.
If you want to learn how to create and market a product that your users will love using and will recommend to others, read this book. After you’ve read it, go back and look at how it was written. What were you asked to do as you read? How were you helped to understand the points made? How were you helped and supported as a reader to become an expert in making users awesome? What patterns and perceptions sneaked into your brain without you knowing how it happened?
Kathy Sierra has always been about creating awesome users, and this book can help you be about that, too.
Welcome back to the conversation, Kathy. You were missed.
A review by Virginia DeBolt of Badass: Making Users Awesome (rating: 5 stars)
Summary: Kathy Sierra shows you how to make your users keep coming back by helping them be badass at using your product.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for this review. Opinions are my own. Links to Amazon are affiliate links. Here is my review policy. .
In the Bob Dylan video, you use up and down arrow keys to move between various visuals, all perfected coordinated with the song. I’m unable to embed the video here, but I urge you to check it out and play with the interactive elements.
The second, which is below, is by Jack Black for his song “That Black Bat Licorice.” In Jack Black’s video use the “3” or the “B” key for 3 different versions of the video. Again, play with the controls as you watch it.
Tools and Resources for Interactive Video
The folks at PBS’s POV Filmmakers have a great resource list of tools and costs. For each tool in their list, they give examples of work and describe what the tool does. Finding the best tool is also a topic of discussion on Quora. You can do some interactive work with videos on YouTube.
I would certainly be interested in seeing someone experiment with interactive video as a teaching tool. If you’ve seen anything like that on the web, please mention it in the comments.