Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Those of you who were around back in November may remember a brief New York Times appearance in which I spouted off about online accessibility.
Add one more example to the list: "a short piece of animation" designed to launch the London Olympics logo into the world (because ugly babies need all the help they can get) has been pulled down from the official site because the blink rate on the animation set off seizures in epileptics.
Right. Blink = Bad.
Or rather: "blinking text, objects, or other elements having a flash or blink frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz" = bad, pursuant to Subpart B, § 1194.21 of the US Government Section 508 Standards. (Granted, it's a UK goof, but those guys are generally more enlighted than we are about these things.)
And don't even get me started on the Olympics, because I'm feeling cranky.
But on a little less cranky note: When I lived in LA my downstairs neighbor was a fiery octogenarian whose family fled China during the Cultural Revolution, and who escaped having her feet bound per the prevailing social norms because her father was particularly enlightened and wanted to see his daughter educated. She helped me countless times in extraordinarily generous ways, and was great company for sharing stories and passing time.
I don't remember what we were talking about when she introduced this little pearl, but it stuck with me and seems relevant here when we're talking about taking the time to design things right for the Web -- or to do things right at all.
She said simply: "I was taught that when you're walking down a path, and you see a branch in the way, it's not enough to step over the branch. You must move the branch aside, out of the way, because the next person coming down the path may not see the branch, and may not be able to step around it. That is just the way."