Lately I’ve been part of a project helping tutor an individual in assisted living, who is disabled, in learning how to navigate the Web and email, with the eventual goal of uploading his music to YouTube. I can’t wait to introduce you to him – he’s fantastic and his songwriting is interesting.
It has been a terrific experience, an eye opener, and a reminder of things I I might have forgotten from when I used to develop applications for folks I worked with at Sears, who were not familiar with using a mouse, let alone an application of some sort.
Two things that come to mind that I will probably talk more about in later posts are that metaphors and analogies are terrific communication tools and that we as programmers and web service producers still make things too damn hard – there is still tremendous opportunity for innovation.
Markup that web browsers recognize for Login and Logout links/activities/forms so that the web browser itself can present a common interface for this kind of common action. Everyone has these interactions in different locations, with different looks and feels, but for those people who are disadvantaged in some way, this could provide a common interface. This way, web designers can keep the flexibility in their UI designs they seek *and* an additional utility would be available in the browser itself, to assist those who need it.
Just an idea to throw out there.
I’m thankful to be in a position to do this, and I hope to share more as this project progresses.