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A Stark Difference

Issue No. 71

Hey there friends,

Here are our recommended reads of the week. And if this was forwarded to you, sign up here! Got your coffee or tea ready? ☕️

Around the web


A new (experimental) implant for blind people jacks directly into the brain

"Eventually, the prosthesis, like a cochlear implant, will need to transmit its signal and power wirelessly through the skull to reach the electrodes. But for now, his team has so far left the prosthesis cabled for experiments—providing the most flexibility to keep updating the hardware before settling on a design.

At 10 pixels by 10 pixels, which is roughly the maximum potential resolution Gómez’s implant could render, one may perceive basic shapes like letters, a door frame, or a sidewalk. But the contours of a face, let alone a person, are far more complicated. That’s why Fernandez augmented his system with image recognition software to identify a person in a room and beam a pattern of phosphenes to Gómez’s brain that she learned to recognize."

In 1961, we saw the cochlear implant come to life, and implants / prosthetic aids in general benefit so many individuals. Though this is certain in an experimental phase, with a lot of potential hiccups that need to be ironed out (detailed in post), it's amazing to see researchers have successfully bypassed the eyes with a brain implant that allows rudimentary vision.


Designing web services for people living in data poverty

"In the days before Hurricane Irma hit the USA in 2017, CNN released a low bandwidth version of their website. With all of the advertising scripts, imagery and unnecessary code stripped out, the Lite version of the website can be loaded with about 97% less data than the standard website. It allows people with limited data connectivity to access important news, especially time critical news about natural disasters. It might look basic, but its utilitarian approach to helping people in need was extremely well received and CNN has kept it live since."

Huge thanks to Whole Grain Digital for writing and submitting this article for the newsletter.

Resource & Article

The ultimate guide to proper use of animation

Okay, this is an entire education lesson jam packed into article form. While these examples and lessons have been scattered all over the internet, Taras Skytskyi collected all the main principles and rules in one place with extreme detail, imagery, and GIFs, so that other designers who want to start animating interfaces don’t have to search for additional information.

Pro-Tip: Animations when done well, is one of the most beautiful additions to your produce. But Motion can have an extremely negative impact on the experience for individuals—disability or not. Be cognizant of what you include and why.

Just like solving the product problem, motion should be introduced with reason, and not over-done. There's a science to it, and a large part of that is how the brain perceives it. Make sure you're testing with a variety of people to determine the impact it has.

Tweet Tip

Here's a free typography lesson from HoeflerCo

Last week Jessica Hische posted a WIP on request, as she was having a bit of a tough time and was figured the community can share thoughts. Upon doing so, HoeflerCo jumped in and shared some tips on what improvements can be made.

"If the B is intentionally charming & unmannered, maybe it’s worth making the O less geometric? Some *slight* fattening up of its corners might be worth looking at."

It detailed such a warm and human side to the work involved in typography. How there's a place for mechanical, but it wasn't here in this particular project. And well, it's a free lesson on typography from both Jessica Hische and HoeflerCo. Enjoy.

From Stark

🖤 Community love of the week 

This is a rad experiment. Kunal Bhatia (Founder of SlidesUp) is currently working on a neat idea for the newsletter they sound out. In order to do that, he's testing colors on both light vs dark mode. He experimented with colors on all of the possible dark modes of the most popular email clients.

Turns out: Superhuman has the lightest dark mode background and Outlook for Mobile has the darkest.

Thanks Kunal for reaching out to us for help on this, along with using Stark for your contrast checking! :)

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