Category Archives: Accessibility & Usability

A Developer’s Open Letter to RIM

Jamie Murai has written an open letter to RIM, the company behind Blackberry and Playbook. Jamie talks about his experience of setting up development environment for Playbook application development.

It seems, RIM has failed to attract developers, the credit goes to broken development process and tool-chain. One has to spend good amount of time (and money?) setting up development environment, building application and deploying the same to marketplaces.

Why would developers bother looking at Playbook development, when they have better options (iOS and Google Android), where  development, deployment and monetization is relatively very-very simpler.

Developer usability is very important. Any company that relies on developer community/ecosystem for their growth, should take some lessons from Jamie Murai’s open-letter, which enlists some important points/issues.

Read Jamie Murai’s Open Letter To RIM’s Developer Relations.

Gmail: usability/accessibility issue

Gmail uses mouse-down event instead of click (mouse-button-release) at many places (Compose Mail, Inbox, Chats etc) in it’s frontend. 

I face following problems because of their wrong choice of event (mouse-down instead of click):

  • I can’t select text while in list view. For example, if I want to select the sender’s name or subject, instead it opens the mail thread.

     

  • If mouse-button is pressed by mistake on any of links (Compose Mail, Inbox etc), associated action takes place and I am forced to click on browser’s back button (or equivalent) to get back to previous state (screen/view). I don’t get a chance to change my mind by releasing mouse-button outside of link area.

     

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Creating Passionate Users – Reverse engineering passion

I watched the video-recording (101 MB .ogg file) of Kathy Sierra‘s talk from LCA ’07. It’s really good and I learnt many things, which would surely me in getting better at things (building software/products or communities).

Thanks to Gopal for sharing the link.

I noted a few things (points, quotes, words etc etc).

Some of the attributes of passionate users:

  • Evangelize
  • Learn
  • Spend Money
  • Spend time
  • Connect with others
  • Show off / take pride (tshirts, bags etc)
  • Elevate the meaning

Some quotes/sentences used in the talk:

  • Where there is passion, there is a user kicking ass.
  • It’s not about the tools you build, it’s about what your users do with the them.
  • Being better is better.
  • Being better is higher-resolution experience.
  • Make right things easy and wrong things hard.
  • Suck threshold vs Passion threshold.

Some screenshots of video can be seen at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/abdulqabiz/tags/kathysierra/

Making an Accessible website

I found a very good online book on making an Accessible website. The title of book is “Dive Into Accessibility” Author has taken some real life scenarios. He has talked about different type of disablities and how can we make our content accessible for those people.
Interesting fact is that, through-out the book, examples are given on customizing a MT blog to be more accessible. That’s interesting, I am reading the book once again and hopefully customize my blog to be more accessible.