Sunday, March 9, 2008

“These aren’t the text sizing widgets you’re looking for”…

Everything I Know About Accessibility I Learned From Star Wars

with Derek Featherstone

I got to this panel a little late (thanks for nothing daylight savings time!).

I walked in as Featherstone, adorned in a Jedi Robe and wielding a microphone like a lightsaber (a more civilized weapon) explaining that if you steal something, make it better and more accessible and then compared the Abominable snowman from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with the Wampa in Empire Strikes Back.

He then subjected us to the intro to the much loathed yet adored Star Wars Holiday Special. He used this as an example to show that a good thing can be too much.

Iterations- Featherstone showed early drafts of the script and concept art. The Jedi cloaked speaker encouraged us to keep our core, our html, but to continue to go back and add to the appearance and presentation just like George Lucas continued to readapt his story even 20 years later.

He used the Han Solo/Greedo cantina confrontation change as an example. In the original story Solo shot first, thus creating his beloved pirate-esque personality. He said this is an example of changing the content and changing the core for worse.


“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for"

Jedi Mind Tricks in accessibility design?  Featherstone discussed using the power of suggestion in your design. For example it can be used with text resize widgets… I guess.


“These aren’t the text sizing widgets you’re looking for”… not as catchy.

Han Solo- “Good against remotes is one thing; good against the living, is something else”


Derek Featherstone- “At the end of the day it’s about the people… it’s good against the living that matters”

Lastly, Featherstone encouraged us to heed Yoda’s dying words, “Pass on what you have learned”. As Accesibilty Jedis we must pass on what we have learned…

“No, try not. Do or do not. There is no try” 

There is no difference from moving stones to moving X-Wings. When it comes to accessibility, we have to actually do it. There is no try.



No comments: