#19: The progress/process

Hello friends,

Hope you're finding some A/C this summer. It's scorching hot here in NC.

I've had three projects occupying most of my time over the last month. Unfortunately, I can't discuss details yet, but I can share with you a couple things I'm learning along the way.

Progress over process
I'm a big fan of creating systems. A good system's foundation is a repeatable process that can adapt to any type of project. This can be tricky since the natural state of a project is chaos. Remember the second law of thermodynamics?

That said, there is a point in which structure produces diminishing returns. A tell-tale sign this is happening is when people focus too much on "how" something is being done, instead of what the project produces. For example, one of my projects crossed the line last week because a stakeholder asked for special documentation on something that was satisfied via another deliverable. This happened because they lost sight of the outcome.

Accessibility is good design
Accessibility, many times, is one of the elements of good design that gets bolted on instead of baked in from the beginning. I have a project going on now where the primary driver for the redesign is making it more accessible for folks who are visually impaired. Working on this project has brought back one of my favorite lessons from the documentary, Objectified. In the film, a designer is discussing making prototypes for a fruit peeler and makes a comment to the effect of "design for the fringes and you'll satisfy the masses."

I'm finding this axiom true as we're making a site friendly for people who have low or no vision. One of our thought processes is to imagine experiencing the website by looking through a straw. This changes our perspective and allows us to think about content, context and interactions in a new way.

What's one exciting thing you've done or learned this summer? (Can't wait to hear from you!)

Until next time.



P.S. The kids and I are loving the Sky Guide App.
P.P.S. Vox Media's accessibility checklist is top notch.
P.P.S. Found this surf video fun and clever.

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