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In honour of World Usability (#WUD)

17 Nov
wud-logo-color
World Usability Day (#WUD), generally the second Thursday of November, aims at ensuring that services and products important to life are easier to access and simpler to use, and at celebrating and educating – celebrating the strides we have made in creating usable products and educating the masses about how usability impacts our daily lives. It is about making our world work better.

This year I attended with 40 or so others, FLUPA Nice The World Usability Day local meetup where Google’s Material Design was introduced, and a small workshop was held on visually designing wireframes.

I learned that 21% of the French population is in a situation of handicap (that is 23M people) and that 80% of handicaps are invisible. W3C was mentioned for its work on WCAG, but unfortunately not for its WAI tutorials or Developer tools.

Other useful snippets:

  • Digital accessibility is a vector of social integration.
  • My priority design principles include:
    • Visible elements
    • … including visible buttons using or or two words
    • Most important elements at the top
    • Similar types of information are grouped
    • Clear hierarchy of information
    • Consistency of UX throughout
    • Sufficient font size and colour contrast
    • 2 to 3 colours (that match, preferably although it’s a matter of taste)
    • 2 font types at most, maybe a third if used in a logotype
    • Short sentences
    • A little jargon as possible
    • Consistent usage of personal pronouns
  • Given that only a handful of frameworks appear to be used to create websites nowadays, people really need to be creative in order to stand out and be identifiable.
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When the job gets physical

22 Sep

I have a rather sedentary job which involves computer work, a lot of typing, listening, thinking, talking, storing a lot of information to be able to throw it up at the right time, in the right form, or to connect the right people or the right dots, etc. I no longer travel very much and don’t get to meet people a lot to conduct my work. I do not have any RSI hurting my wrists to prevent me from typing, and I love my job and care enough that I happily spend hours at my keyboard. I have a lot of stamina.

But the other day, I had been at my desk for several hours reading feedback and input on Social Media on some very controversial work that the W3C recently completed, when it hit me: shaky hands, heart beating a little too fast steadily, and the dizziness. That slight tingle in the back of my throat and nose, the faint metallic taste and smell. It lasted a few seconds. I didn’t faint, but I know the signs. Oof!

I carried on with my day but later thought that my job had gotten physical :)

Memory of my memoir

7 Sep Some perpetual movement with this Escher drawing I copied

My Dad reminded me tonight of that time, just before my twenties, when I had to write a memoir for the end of my studies –a two-year secretarial degree. I had worked as an intern twice a few months in the same Hilton hotel in Cannes, doing admin at the HR office the first year, and doing admin for the CEO the second year.

When it came to writing the memoir about what I had done there, I invented something, because otherwise there wasn’t a lot of glory or interest.

So I came up with a study to enhance efficiency throughout the various departments. The study was genuine; I had witnessed first-hand how the hotel worked and there was room for optimisation. The write-up was coherent and made sense. And I got away with it!

The following year, the hotel manager contacted me to get my approval for a group of local students at a business school to use my work and reorganise the hotel accordingly, which I happily gave. I was quite honoured they had kept it, were considering it seriously, and called to ask!

Anyway, I guess my Dad’s point was that even then I was doing some Comm work, and he went on recalling when years later I was offered to join the W3C Comm team and refused several times because I had no idea what comm work was, and he said “look at you now.” I figure my dad is proud of my ‘career’, as he puts it. And maybe people see in me more than I do.

Les lieux familiers (bis)

21 Feb


Je voyage assez souvent (et c’est chouette) et me trouve à l’aise dans les aéroports. Quelque chose de familier, d’interchangeable, qui me sied. 

On n’a pas besoin d’y parler trop. C’est reposant. On s’y perd rarement sauf happé dans des rêveries. J’ai un bon bouquin et quand je ne lis pas, j’observe les gens. 

Je regarde souvent ma pellicule photos de téléphone intelligent : il est claffi de photos prises d’avion ou d’aéroport. 


Je suis en transit pour Berlin. Je n’y ai jamais mis les pieds ! On le dit que c’est magnifique et dynamique. J’y vais pour le boulot et prendrai ce que je peux de ces quelques jours. 


Ah, ça va me manquer de moins voyager.