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A Stark Difference

Issue No. 76

Hey there friends,

We hope you're staying safe and healthy during these unsettling times. In hopes of keeping your minds occupied while we self-isolate, here are our recommended reads of the week.

If this was forwarded to you, sign up here! Got your coffee or tea ready? ☕️

Around the web


Stay healthy. Stay data informed.

"Great solutions are built upon solid and accurate assumptions about the world. You can’t solve jack if your assumptions are off. And they are likely to be off in any scenario that involves millions or billions of people, involve a topic you haven’t studied deeply, or where you don’t have good data.

Rather than surfing by on intuition and taste, the data-informed individual adopts a beginner’s mindset: Assume you know nothing."


College student makes masks for the deaf and hard of hearing

"For anyone who uses speech reading, lip reading, anybody like that," Lawrence said about the purpose of the masks. "And people who are profoundly deaf who use ASL as their primary mode of communication. ASL is very big on facial expressions and it is part of the grammar.

So I don't know if you have seen Virginia Moore on Andy Beshear's things at five o'clock, but she's very emotive, and if half of that is gone because you're wearing a mask then half of what you're saying is being missed, so even if it's not physically talking and just using ASL, then you need to have that kind of access."

This was an amazing project to see surface! It's really great to see the project evolve, too. In the article, the creator mentions trying different things for people with cochlear implants and hearing aids if they can't wrap the masks around the ears.

My only concern with the design is potential window for exposure. I'm curious how they mitigate that, and what an iterated version of this looks like to rectify that. Regardless, it's incredible to see this made specifically for those who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Question: What are your thoughts on the design?


Better Accessibility Needs User Research

“Usability and accessibility are twins separated at birth. Same goals but like two brothers in a fable, they took different paths: Accessibility took a legal rights path. This gave it power, but not a lot of love. Usability took a user research path. This gave it deep insights, but not a lot of power.”


Accessible by Design

“Even if you are not part of the statistics above the sad fact is that at some point you will be less able than you are today. As we age our eyesight starts to fade as does our hearing and our mobility. None of us are immune to sickness or injury. Even when completely healthy, situations will arise when we are in some way inhibited. Think about when you are caring for a small child, had a bad night’s sleep or are stressed and distracted.”

From Stark

🖤 Community love of the week 

"Good point! I only had 3 hrs to put this together and I kept an eye on contrast but didn't get much time to play with color. I just ran a colorblind test (Stark plugin, Figma). I *think* it should be ok, everything still has some contrast to navigate. Could definitely be better."

Kudos to Alison for getting her feet wet in accessibility efforts, and doing her best with the knowledge and resources she has. Just get started! Something is better than nothing. So happy to have Alison using Stark in Figma to do so. <3

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