Archivo de la etiqueta: life style

Performance Bike

Performance Bike

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7 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about Accessibility

Accessibility enables people with disabilities to perceive, understand, navigate, interact with, and contribute to the web. Imagine a world where developers know everything there is to know about accessibility. You design it and they build it… perfectly. In this world, only the design itself can cause people with disabilities to have trouble using a product.

These guidelines will cover the major things you need to know in order for your products to be “design-ready” to meet the minimum of standards in Section 508 and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. The rest will be up to development and quality testing.

1. Accessibility is not a barrier to innovation.

Accessibility will not force you to make a product that is ugly, boring, or cluttered. It will introduce a set of constraints to incorporate as you consider your design. These design constraints will give you new ideas to explore that will lead to better products for all of your users.

As you read through these guidelines, consider that we don’t want to design for our design peers.

Design for the diverse set of users who will interact with your products.

Design for everyone.

Eager to escape the tech bubble for a weekend, Designer Dude and his circle of start-up friends went to Yosemite, where he spent most of his time dribbbling on a slackline near their basecamp

Design for everyone.

This can include people who are blind, color blind, or have low vision, those who are Deaf or have hearing difficulties, people with mobility impairments which may be temporary or permanent, or people with cognitive disabilities. Design for people who are young, old, power users, casual users, and those who just enjoy a quality experience.

Embrace these accessibility guidelines as you would any set of design constraints. They are part of the challenge of creating amazing products.

2. Don’t use color as the only visual means of conveying information.

This helps users who are unable to, or have difficulty with, distinguishing one color from another. This includes people who are color blind (1 in 12 men, 1 in 200 women), have low vision (1 in 30 people), or are blind (1 in 188 people).

Use color to highlight or complement what is already visible.

Fields in an error state
How many fields are in an error state?

Most who see this in grayscale say the answer is one, the “human verification” field. That is because the triangle with the exclamation mark inside indicates that something is amiss.

Now look at this same screen in color. How many fields are in an error state?

Turning on the color reveals a different story altogether.

With color the answer becomes, “all four”.

There are many acceptable ways to make this form visually accessible. You could put the red triangle icon in all of the error fields. You could use text to indicate and explain why a given field is in error. You could use tooltips, thick borders, bold text, underlines, italics, etc. The choices are infinite, but the only rule is to use more than color alone.

How would you design this signup form so that color isn’t the only visual means of showing a field with an error?

Update: It turns out that the accessibility issue described above in the PayPal example is caused by the LastPass plugin in my browser. Thanks to Tony Amidei (@subface) from PayPal for pointing this out to me. As designed, the triangle icons should always appear on fields in an error state.

3. Ensure sufficient contrast between text and its background.

According to the WCAG, the contrast ratio between text and a text’s background should be at least 4.5 to 1. If your font is at least 24 px or 19 px bold, the minimum drops to 3 to 1.

This means that when text is 24 px, 19 px bold, or larger, the lightest gray you can use on a white background is #959595.

#959595 text on a white background.

For smaller text, the lightest gray you can use on a white background is #767676. If you have a gray background, the text needs to be darker.

#767676 text on a white background.

There are some great tools that can help you find an accessible color palette for your designs including Color Safe. There is also WebAIM’s Color Contrast Checker, which will let you test colors you have already chosen.

4. Provide visual focus indication for keyboard focus.

Let’s take a moment to give thanks for the reset style sheet and all of the utility it has given the modern web designer. Without reset style sheets, it would be much more difficult to create a consistent experience across different devices and browsers.

:focus {outline: 0;}

This single line of CSS makes it nearly impossible for a sighted user to use a website with just a keyboard. Fortunately, since the initial CSS resets were released, many popular ones including Eric Meyer’s have been updated to remove un-styling of the :focus pseudo-class.

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The Habits of Successful People


In my recent travels around Asia, I’ve had the great opportunity to meet a lot of local founders and aspiring entrepreneurs.

A few themes that seemed to come up many times are questions like “What triggered you to become passionate about company culture and transparency?” or “How did you know you wanted to build Buffer to what it is today?”

One of the most memorable moments for me was talking to a super smart lady who is having a lot of success at a large company and longs to work on something more meaningful. She told me this about a friend of hers:

“My friend has her own fashion startup and is doing well. She is so passionate about what she is doing. I want to do a company in fashion too, but I don’t feel like I have the same level of passion as my friend. What should I do?”

There is a lot of advice out there that says “You must be super excited about what you’re working on; otherwise you won’t stick with it.” I think there is a lot of truth in that.

At the same time, if I look back on my own journey, I don’t think that’s how it worked. It would be easy (and incorrect) for me to say that I always imagined creating a company with full transparency and no managers from Day 1. Or for me to say that I had a vision to build a SaaS startup that helps companies solve their social media struggles and reaches 30,000 customers with $5m in annual revenue.

It’s OK to think small at first

The thing is, when I started the company four years ago, I didn’t even start a company. I just had a side project. I had to work full-time for clients to pay the bills. It was almost incomprehensible that I could dream about those things—I had much more immediate needs.

But I did have a little dream. My goal in the earliest days was simply to build something that truly solved a problem for people and make money online with a product. My earnings had always been tied to my time, doing contract and freelance work. I was passionate about moving from that to creating a product that someone would pay for.

Back when I started, having someone pay $5 for my product was as big as the dream got. It didn’t involve having a team, creating a movement around transparency, raising funding or building a unique workplace.

Your dream will form over time

Once I achieved that first dream, my horizon became much clearer. It’s like the fog lifted and I could see ahead and the next dream came into my head. After the first customer paid $5 for Buffer (in the first month we had total revenue of $20), my next goal was to make $1,000 per month so that I could drop my freelance work and focus completely on Buffer. This was the dream I pursued for the next few months.

The dream forms over time. It’s OK if you don’t have a world-changing vision from the beginning. The key is to follow that tiny dream. That little spark, the idea in the very back of your mind.

Once you pursue that, you are on the path to your most meaningful and fulfilling work.

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Writing or Photography?

For some people, shifting careers was never easy. But for Heidi Lender, once a fashion magazine editor turned fine art photographer, it was a change that led to her true calling and has since never look back. Here, she shares with us her life behind the lens and her inspiration about her amazing collections “She Can Leap Tall Buildings” and “Once Upon”.

“Photography unlocked a creative block I’ve had for a long time” Heidi Lender

We understand you had a career change from a fashion editor to a photographer. What led you to this realization? Could you share with us your “aha” moment?

It wasn’t a direct transition, actually. I wrote features for magazines for a long while and stopped to study yoga and then teach in my own studio. During that time, I bought my first DSLR, and after year, I finally figured out how to use it. I got involved with the flickr community and became quickly obsessed with making images and learning digital photography. I’m still writing features?—?only visually now; a much more enjoyable process for me.

You’ve lived in India for around 6 years. How were those years compared to your fashion editor/reporter lifestyle?

On the one hand it was the complete antithesis?—?practicing un-attachment (in yoga), being attached (in fashion), along with a swarm of other opposites. But at the same time?—?I was still reporting (if only in my mind), witnessing, taking in new things, whether it was food, fashion, smells, culture, society, lifestyle. There is never a dull moment in either world.

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The series “She Can Leap Tall Buildings” is about all the superwomen out there especially your mom. Could you share with us how you came up with this concept?

I was in the middle of a house remodel in Uruguay and had this fabulous raw concrete wall in an empty room with beautiful light. I also had Irving Penn on my mind. And had recently bought a wig during a walk down Haight Street in San Francisco, just because. At the time, I was on a big victim rant about how I do everything in my relationship?—?from making travel arrangements to dinner, social plans and managing construction. Tired of the constant complaining, I one day decided to just stop.

And realized, instead, how extraordinary we multitasking women are. That led to thoughts of my mom and her amazingness, which, maybe, before, I hadn’t really appreciated. And then I put on the wig, and She Can Leap Tall Buildings was born.

[stylish_image_content image_id=”251″][/stylish_image_content]

Thanks! The yellow dress. It’s always been and remains my favorite. I’d had that Tracy Feith dress for probably 10 years and never wore it, until that day. I love the image for its balance and color and details, and Bubba’s expression.

How has the “Road Trip” series helped you in finding some peace within yourself after a breakup? Do you think photography is therapeutic?

Absolutely. I think it saved me; it was a refuge, gave me a purpose, and was a reminder that bigger things out in the world existed other than my sad, hurt self.


Any next projects you’re looking forward to?

I’m finishing up a handmade book of the road trip series called Chasing Pavement. It’s a very small edition that I am printing and hand-crafting with more images I took on another recent trip cross-country. After putting that chapter to bed, I’m not sure what’s next. (…)


Here’s Why You’ll Hate the Apple Watch (and the Important Business Lesson You Need to Know)

Apple Watch

If you are among the 19 million people Apple predicts will buy an Apple Watch, I have some bad news for you?—?I’m betting there is an important feature missing from the watch that’s going to drive you nuts.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy one. In fact, I’m ordering one myself. However, this paradox illustrates an important lesson for the way companies design their products.

Rarely are v.1 products very good. How is it, then, that some products thrive despite flagrant shortcomings?

Meet Mr. Kano

To find out why you’ll likely be disappointed by the Apple Watch, meet Professor Noriaki Kano. In the 1980s Professor Kano developed a model to explain a theory of customer satisfaction.

Kano believes products have particular attributes, which are directly responsible for users’ happiness. He discovered that some qualities matter more than others. Kano describes three product attribute types?—?(loosely translated from Japanese as) delightful, linear, and hygienic features.

Kano Model

A delightful feature is an attribute of a product that customers love but do not expect. For example, if the Apple Watch madeyou coffee every morning, that would be a delightfully surprising feature.

A linear feature, on the other hand, is one users expect. More of that quality increases satisfaction. Battery life is an example of a linear feature of the Apple Watch. You trust that it will last all day but the more juice the battery has, the less you need to charge it, and the happier you are.

Customers are typically able to articulate the linear attributes of a product?—?“I want it to have long battery life”?—?whereas by definition they can’t tell they want a delightful feature until they’ve seen it in action. Like knowing the punchline of a joke, if you know what to expect it fails to delight.

Finally, hygienic or “basic” features are must-haves. Customers not only expect these attributes, they depend on them. If the Apple Watch is bad at telling time, for example, you would undoubtedly be very ticked (tocked) off.

Ellen DeGeneres tweeted a sardonic comment that perfectly demonstrates what happens when we make a basic feature sound like a delighter.


Joking aside, Apple CEO Tim Cook knows just how important telling time is for an expensive timepiece. Cook emphasizes that the device is accurate within 50 milliseconds. In addition, when the battery is almost depleted, the watch kicks into “Power Reserve” mode, shutting down everything but the ability to see the time.

Obviously, Apple understands telling time is a hygienic feature. However, when it comes to this basic feature, something is still missing?—?which finally brings me to what will likely annoy you about the Apple Watch.

Inconspicuous Consumption

A basic attribute of any watch is that it allows wearers to see the time all the time. With a regular watch, checking the time couldn’t be easier. You only need to glance down to know what time it is?—?not so with the Apple Watch.

To save battery life, the watch goes dark when it thinks you’re not using it. To turn it back on, you have to shake the device with enough momentum to, in Apple’s words, “Activate on Wrist Raise.”

Early Apple Watch reviewer John Gruber, wrote about his experience wearing the device during the end of a meeting with a friend. “It got to 3:00 or so, and I started glancing at my watch every few minutes. But it was always off … the only way I could check the time was to artificially flick my wrist or to use my right hand to tap the screen?—?in either case, a far heavier gesture than the mere glance I’d have needed with my regular watch.”

Who hasn’t sat across from an overly gabby colleague wondering whether you’ll be late to your next meeting? If we’ve bothered to wear a watch, we expect to be able to see the time at a glance. But if telling the time on your Apple Watch requires a spastic wrist jolt, you’ll curse it.

Gruber continued, “… for regular watch wearers, it’s going to take some getting used to, and it’s always going to be a bit of an inconvenience compared to an always-glance-able watch. It’s a fundamental conflict: a regular watch never turns off, but a display like Apple Watch’s cannot always stay on.”

The problem is significant enough that other smart watch makers already see Apple’s failing as an opportunity. The recently announced Pebble Time for example uses a low-power color e-paper display and never goes dark.

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How Technology is Tricking You Into Tipping More

My taxi pulled up to the hotel. I got out my credit card and prepared to pay for the ride. The journey was pleasant enough but little did I know I was about to encounter a bit of psychological trickery designed to get me to pay more for the lift. Chances are you’re paying more, too.

Digital payment systems use subtle tactics to increase tips, and while it’s certainly good for hard-working service workers, it may not be so good for your wallet.

A new report by the tech research firm Software Advice discovered that digital point-of-sale terminals, like the one in my cab, increase the frequency and amount of tips left by customers. What’s the secret behind how these manipulative machines get us to pony up?

The Power of Defaults

A recent Iowa State study cites a mobile payment company that effectively “nudges consumers” into tipping. Study author Kam Leung Yeung, writes, “Upon swiping their credit or debit card, consumers then need to choose among … preloaded tip amounts (e.g. 15 percent 20 percent, or 25 percent), or to enter their customized tip amount, or decide not to tip at all.” This simple interface “increased the proportion of tipping by 38 percent.”

How did tipping increase so dramatically? Clearly the service wasn’t 38 percent better. Patrons didn’t suddenly become more generous. Rather, the higher tipping is a result of a few intriguing design decisions by the payment processor.

For one, digital interfaces make it just as easy to tip as to not tip?—?a marked change from the way we used to pay in the past. When cash was king, anyone not wanting to give a tip could easily leave the money and dash. “Whoops, my bad!” However, with a digital payment system the transaction isn’t complete until the buyer makes an explicit tipping choice. Clicking on the “No Tip” button is suddenly its own decision. This additional step makes all the difference to those who may have previously avoided taking care of their server.

Making sure customers don’t forget to tip is certainly a good thing. But there is another subtle nudge that gets those who intend to tip to give even more than they otherwise would.

Tipping conventions say the appropriate amount to tip a taxi drive is in the range of 10 percent to 18 percent. However, making the default choices 15 percent, 20 percent or 25 percent bumps up the tip in two ways.

First, users tend to take the easiest route; they do whatever requires the least amount of physical and cognitive effort. In this case, you’re less likely to customize the tip because doing so necessitates more thinking and more clicking. Picking a preloaded amount is simply easier than changing the tip amount even if you know you’re overtipping.

Second, offering three choices utilizes the anchoring effect to nudge people into picking the middle tip option. The vendor knows you likely won’t pick the least expensive amount?—?only cheapskates would do that. So even though 15 percent is squarely within the normal tipping range, by making it the first option, you’re more likely to chose 20 percent. Picking the middle-of-the-road option is in-line with your self-image of not being a tightwad. Therefore, you tip more and you’re not alone. The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission reported tips increased from 10 percent to 22 percent on average when the new payment screens were turned on.

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How to Become a Rockstar Blogger and Monetize your Passion

Joseph Campbell, one of the world’s most respected methodologists, gave us a simple yet profound proposition for life:

Follow your bliss

The Internet and social media tools enabled anyone to follow her or his bliss and make money. For the first time in the history of humankind you can turn a hobby into an online business by bootstrapping from the comfort of your couch (or a village in Thailand).

Penn Jillette, an illusionist and actor famous for his Penn & Teller show, in a keynote at NMX (New Media Conference) in Las Vegas described success as being able to do what you love while supporting yourself. Following his bliss, Penn recenctly raised over a million dollars in crowdfunding to make a scary movie.

Penn delivered this powerful message to thousands of content creators, bloggers and podcasters, who chose to follow their bliss and came to Las Vegas to learn how to turn their passion into a business… while being able to support themselves.

Do you know how many blog posts are written today? Check out Worldometers’ counter that provides real-time data on total number of blog posts published every day in the world (powered by Technorati). In short, millions.

How to break through the clutter in a highly competitive blogosphere and turn your passion into passive income?

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