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At 90, She's Designing Tech For Aging Boomers : All Tech Considered

At 90, She's Designing Tech For Aging Boomers : All Tech Considered
Barbara Beskind, 90, is a designer at IDEO who works with engineers on products that improve the quality of life for older people. Nicolas Zurcher/Courtesy of IDEO hide caption itoggle caption Nicolas Zurcher/Courtesy of IDEO Barbara Beskind, 90, is a designer at IDEO who works with engineers on products that improve the quality of life for older people. Nicolas Zurcher/Courtesy of IDEO In Silicon Valley's youth-obsessed culture, 40-year-olds get plastic surgery to fit in. Barbara Beskind says her age is an advantage. "Everybody who ages is going to be their own problem-solver," she says. "People where I live fall a lot," she says, adding, "For a friend of mine, I tried to design air bags of graded sizes that would be activated at a lurch of 15 degrees." Beskind says she started designing when she was 8 years old — toys, of course. "Well, in the Depression, if you can't buy toys, you make 'em, " she says. After 44 years, she retired as a major and then went into private practice. Related:  General TechnologyWeb AccessibilityAccessibility

The Other 21st Century Skills: Educator Self-Assessment Chartkamp–I think I understand what you are saying, but in any scenario, someone, or something will spur the impetus for learning to occur. We could have a toddler go about and learn the world from scratch, but I don’t think anyone would say that is as efficient and as effective as a “parent” facilitating, or at least providing for a safe environment. And the better the parent, the more effective the toddler will be at contributing to the learning within the community as he/she progresses. Can you describe what you mean by informal learning? The Phone For Disabled People Lets You Surf Facebook With Only Your Face Working on UI and UX for smartphones is difficult enough. It becomes even more difficult when your target population is disabled. But a growing number of companies, ranging from small startups to tech giants, are busy at work creating smartphone interfaces for quadriplegics and paraplegics. To serve users, designers have to embrace face tracking, eye tracking, voice controls, and some no-brainer design approaches. For users who cannot move their own wheelchairs or groom themselves unassisted, being able to operate a phone grants a considerable amount of autonomy. Giora Livne, an engineer who became a quadriplegic after sustaining injuries in a fall, says being able to operate a smartphone independently changed his life. His company, Israel-based Sesame Enable, makes adaptive technology for handless operation of smartphones. The video below shows Candy Crush Saga being played via Sesame. The Rise Of The Accessible Phone Hawking says ACAT has doubled his typing speed.

Form Usability: Getting 'Address Line 2' Right While ‘Address Line 2’ may seem like an insignificant aspect of an e-commerce design or overall form design, we have observed this form field to be the cause of bewilderment and uncertainty for users during both our checkout usability and mobile e-commerce research studies. Now, it should be noted that ‘Address line 2’ was never observed to be the direct cause of checkout abandonments during any test sessions. Poor ‘Address line 2’ designs did however contribute to a sub-par form filling experience during both studies, as the test subjects spent excessive time filling out forms or typed correct input in a wrong field, resulting in needless validation errors and warnings. Given how easy it is to design a user-friendly and unambiguous ‘Address line 2’ field, it’s worth taking a moment to fix it – it really is one of those low-hanging fruits in checkout and form design. 1) Understand Current Usage 2) ‘What Goes Where?’ Is floor level or room number supposed to go in address line 1 or 2?

My Experience Designing for the Blind My Experience Designing for the Blind Research, Design, and Prototyping At Purdue, there is a program called EPICS in which students can work with real world clients to engineer products to be used in the community at large. In my Interaction Design class this semester, one of our projects was to work with an EPICS team to provide a IxD perspective to their product. The workflow, from what I have seen in EPICS this semester, is usually get a brief from a client, build a prototype, give it to the client, change the prototype according to their feedback, and repeat until it is good enough. My job was to shake it up by talking the the users before any products are designed in the first place. I was able to pick between a number of projects, but the one that caught my eye was called a “Braille e-Reader.” As a bit of background, a product exists called the Apex Braillenote (seen on the left) that provides one line of 36 cells for a user to read documents one line at a time.

There’s no app for good teaching 8 ways to think about tech in ways that actually improve the classroom. Bringing technology into the classroom often winds up an awkward mash-up between the laws of Murphy and Moore: What can go wrong, will — only faster. It’s a multi-headed challenge: Teachers need to connect with classrooms filled with distinct individuals. We all want learning to be intrinsically motivated and mindful, yet we want kids to test well and respond to bribes (er, extrinsic rewards). There’s no app for that. But there are touchstones for bringing technology into the classroom. “App-transcendence,” says Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard’s graduate school of education who is known for his theory of multiple intelligences, “is when you put the apps away and use your own wits, not someone else’s.” The following is what teachers (and parents) need to know when looking at the increasingly lucrative landscape of apps, learning systems, MOOCs and hardware. 1. Skip the templates and overly pat apps. 2. 3. 4. 5.

What I Learned From Building An App For Low-Income Americans I was lost in the Bronx. It was my first week as a Significance Labs Fellow, where my job was to create a tech product for some of the American households who earn less than $25,000 a year. In 2013, 45.3 million Americans lived at or below the poverty line, which for a family of four is $23,834. Another fellow and I spent an hour on the subway from Brooklyn to do a user interview. To some extent technology has failed low-income Americans too. It’s The Scarcity, Stupid Our first week was spent in some of NYC’s poorest neighborhoods interviewing all kinds of people. The product eventually built by my team was for housecleaners. Every person we met had an intensely individual story, but common themes emerged. It also became clear that inequality isn’t purely about income. Living on a low income translates into other forms of scarcity: of power, information, respect, opportunity, time, health, security, and even of sleep. Your Users Won’t Trust You I often didn’t feel good.

Deaf, Blind Sue Over Web Shopping - WSJ Accessibility APIs: A Key To Web Accessibility Advertisement Web accessibility is about people. Successful web accessibility is about anticipating the different needs of all sorts of people, understanding your fellow web users and the different ways they consume information, empathizing with them and their sense of what is convenient and what frustratingly unnecessary barriers you could help them to avoid. Armed with this understanding, accessibility becomes a cold, hard technical challenge. A firm grasp of the technology is paramount to making informed decisions about accessible design. How do assistive technologies present a web application to make it accessible for their users? Reading The Screen To understand the role of an accessibility API in making Web applications accessible, it helps to know a bit about how assistive technologies provide access to applications and how that has evolved over time. A World of Text Getting Graphic Off-Screen Models Recognizing the objects in this off-screen model was done through heuristic analysis.

More Progressive Ways to Measure Deeper Levels of Learning How do we measure learning beyond knowledge of content? Finding that winning combination of criteria can prove to be a complicated and sometimes difficult process. Schools that are pushing boundaries are learning that it takes time, a lot of conversation, and a willingness to let students participate in that evaluation. “Most schools and most of our learning stops at knowing and we need to move that and broaden it to the doing and the reflecting,” said Bob Lenz, co-founder & chief executive officer of Envision Schools while participating in a Deeper Learning MOOC panel. The charter network’s teachers follow three steps for assessment: know, do, reflect. “The real power comes in the reflective process, both individually and with peers,” Lenz said. Teaching rubrics are a common tool in any classroom, but they can easily become a disguised checklist of tasks, instead of a living document designed to structure learning towards a desired skill or outcome.

Designing a mobile interface for older people Not so “smart” phones Most phones currently on the market have a touch screen. The touch-based interface can be confusing for many people. While fonts can be enlarged on some phones, this does not solve all potential problems. We have performed a research to discover how older people use their phones and have identified their capabilities and limitations, introduced key design recommendations and as a result, have created a new simplified mobile interface. Our granny doesn’t feel old The first idea came about from talking to our granny. We even bought her a simple senior-oriented phone. Android launcher as a solution We investigated a number of possible solutions. Most of the above alternatives do not provide a large keyboard. What do older people really want? We wanted to identify the best phone interface design possible. We interviewed five people above the age of 60. Impairments of older people Some individual abilities decline with age. Technology yes, but with a real benefit KoalaPhone

Introduction to Techniques for WCAG 2.0 | Techniques for WCAG 2.0 This document is part of a series of documents published by the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) to support WCAG 2.0 [WCAG20]. It includes a variety of techniques which include specific authoring practices and examples for developing more accessible Web content. As well, it lists failures, which describe common mistakes that are considered failures of WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria. This is not an introductory document. It is a detailed technical description of techniques that can be used to address the requirements in WCAG 2.0. See Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview for an introduction to WCAG, supporting technical documents, and educational material. In order to make the set of techniques maintained by the WCAG WG as comprehensive as possible, the WCAG WG encourages submission of new techniques so they can be considered for inclusion in this document. Sufficient and Advisory Techniques Note that all techniques are informative. Technique Collections

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