It’s Monday, April 25 and a grey but not yet rainy day in Portland, Oregon.
On Saturday we had a family emergency that involved looking up whether our nearest urgent care center was in-network or not, because if it wasn’t, we’d likely be the lucky recipients of a multiple-thousand-dollar bill.
This kicked off a predictably-for-me rant about the user experience of “I’m stressed and need healthcare” colliding with “the shitshow that is the experience of healthcare in America”.
I haven’t written it up, but if you care enough to see what that experience was like, you can read my frustrating thread, I fucking hate healthcare in America.
Listening to: my playlist “Feel Good When You’re Down”
Okay, I’ve been thinking about this more and I’m going to make some super super super high-level thoughts. In other words: lots of citation needed, and I am not an accessibility expert or professional practitioner. I do think what I’m good at doing is thinking about the context: why it matters, how to explain and persuade why it matters, and so on.
So the thing about Oxo Grips For Software is that it’s a really good way to get people to think about how-it-works, and not how-it-looks, which is how many people might think about accessibility. And some people always love a Steve Jobs quote because then they get to think that they’re Like Steve Jobs.
What’s Oxo Grips For Software as a concept not, then? I would suggest it’s not about the “regular” vision, hearing, physical and motor and literacy and learning challenges (thanks for the handy list of disabilities and accommodations, Apple Human Interface Guidelines!)
To distinguish Oxo Grips For Software, I’m interested in “metaphors that Olds are familiar with” as a translation boundary. One example might be Google Drive as a bag-of-files that you’re just supposed to search through, but if you’re an old you can keep a meticulous folder hierarchy going on if that’s how you’re used to accessing information. Note I’m not saying anything about whether one is better in any respect than the other (other than Why Not Both?).
Or the original thought that Oxo Grips For Software isn’t just a “simplified interface”… But maybe that is what I mean, in some respects? I really am thinking out loud here, and I haven’t had my caffeine yet.
Okay, maybe think about this the other way: why don’t Oxo Grips for Software exist? Well, because it’s hard enough / expensive in resource just to create a great interface for “most people” that survives in today’s economy. (The Best Interface For Most People Is The One That Makes Enough Money For The Business To…)
So until it’s economically viable and feasible to spend resource creating Oxo Software (there, that’s shorter and likely still infringing, you’d totally think Oxo Software was made by or endorsed by OXO the kitchen utensils brand), you’re not going to see anything that’s explicitly designed (or marketed!) that way.
I’m clearly still circling this concept. I do want to remember for myself that Apple’s definition of accommodations included Literacy and Learning, like this:
Literacy and learning challenges include difficulty speaking and reading, managing complexity, and staying focused.
To reduce cognitive load and support people with literacy and learning challenges, Apple provides features such as Speak Screen, Typing Feedback, and Safari Reader.
Which specifically calls out managing complexity and staying focused and talks about what you can do to reduce cognitive load. Which well if that isn’t a hop-skip-and-jump toward more explicit accommodations for neurodiversity, then insult me and call me a thought leader. At this point I’m back to my idea that Software That Helps, e.g. ADHD People Actually Helps Everyone, the same as “software that accommodates disabilities accommodates everyone”.
James Aylett wrote a great reply about DAOs that I’ll probably talk about more later, but one thing it helped crystalize for me was this:
Providing unsophisticated access to “law” via APIs just sets off an arms race. Think like this:
Okay, that’s it. How was your weekend? How are you doing? I love getting notes, even when those note as just “hi”.