39: A Stark difference in design

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1. Accessible Icon Buttons

“Putting aside the UX side of the coin and whether or not an icon alone is enough to convey meaning and functionality to users, many implementations of these buttons today lack the proper accessibility that makes them meaningful to users of assistive technologies.”

2. Personas with Disabilities

“Orthogonal Personas with Disabilities defines features associated with disabilities orthogonally. This implies that the Personas with disabilities are to be treated as if they are connected with and at a right angle to, but not integrated with, your existing personas that everyone knows and loves.”

One of the hot heated debates in the design community aside from the infamous ‘should designers code?’ circles around personas and whether or not they’re helpful. Like most situations, when it comes to designing and building a product, if it’s not inclusive and accessible, you’re doing it wrong. And the same applies to personas.

This article addresses how to tackle personas with disabilities to ensure that if you’re going to use them, you do so in a way that actual benefits the team, product, and users.

3. Making more informed design judgements

“We rarely see the constraints, pushback, perspectives, and objectives others are working with. We can hardly know whether the work was even meant for someone like us, or if the audience is an entirely different group of people with different beliefs, ways of seeing things, or needs. Readily jumping to any conclusions without first considering these aspects means we’re shutting off and rejecting work that may otherwise actually be “good” or even remarkable.”

4. Usability testing with people on the Autism spectrum: What to expect

“During a usability test, when typical people run into an obstacle, they quickly find an alternative approach or take a detour to solve the problem. So you need to pay very close attention to notice these glitches and pinpoint a mismatch between the user’s mental model and the design. In contrast, people with autism often have a certain rigidity in their behavior. That is, if they try to do something and fail, they just try the same thing again—and again and again. It can take a while before they’ll start looking for another strategy. So a UX researcher simply cannot miss these glitches.”

An oldie, but definitely a goodie. When I came across this article it immediately caught my eye because it’s rare that you see any form of discussion around testing and research in the tech community that includes people with Autism.

The author deep dives through his experience testing with adults and children, what he learned throughout and how beneficial it was not only to him but the product. One of the biggest takeaways for me was how different the role of the maker becomes when observing users with Autism testing the product to ensure there isn’t data points that are missed—albeit without realization.

5. Resource: Let's XD

This incredible resource by Howard Pinsky provides an entire library of in depth videos, files, tips, and bite sized clips to learning Adobe XD—from general UI use to creating stunning animations.

We’ve been using XD for quite some time now and can honestly say it’s a completely different and delightful experience from Adobe. We can’t wait to see how far they go with Animations.


The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses

“Good [accessible] design happens when you view your [design] from many different perspectives, or lenses.”

What’s new from Stark

We announced Stark’s paid plans!

This week we officially announced our Paid Plans. They're pricier than a news subscription, and cheaper than a lawsuit.

As a Stark Pro, for $2.00/month (YES, $2), you get...

✅ Pro in Sketch & Adobe XD (all for 1 price)

✅ Contrast Checker

✅ Colorblind Simulations (all 8 simulation types)

✅ Keyboard Shortcuts

✅ Access to the Stark Beta slack group (optional)

✅ Tons of features coming soon.

When we say we have a ton of features coming soon, we actually mean a ton. And not in a feature creep way. It's seamless, beautiful and easy to use...

  • More integrations

  • Live Contrast Checks

  • Suggestions

  • Export Images

  • Educational Material

  • Export Values for Code (Later)

  • Deep Type Analysis

With the announcement of paid plans, we're more than happy to share that the basic features you've been using so far will remain FREE. We believe everyone should have access to tools that help build a more accessible and inclusive world.

Signup for Pro now!

We updated our iconography

Last week we pushed the latest iconography to the site and are quite happy with how it turned out.

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–Team Stark