🔎 Introduction to colour contrast and accessibility

Colour is one of the most underestimated yet critical areas of design, especially when designing with accessibility in mind. 

Most designers are familiar with the colour contrast of texts on the background. However, there is much more to colours in relation to accessibility. We have rules for link colour vs text colour, focus state, adjacent colours for UI elements and interface elements that convey information, etc.

“Colour contrast is one of the areas where we designers can have a significant impact on accessibility. While accessibility is much more than that, a series of measurable variables make colour contrast one of the perhaps easier aspects to address.”

Javier Cuello

The WCAG guidelines, while comprehensive, are not necessarily easy to follow. Luckily, we can learn from folks like Javier Cuello, who summarised the important colour-related accessibility requirements in a more digestible form.  

In his article, Javier explains key considerations that designers should keep in mind when dealing with colours. The article is a good read for anyone looking for an easy-to-understand introduction to colour contrast and accessibility.

🗒️ Full Article: Intro to colour contrast by Javier Cuello

Tagged as: #, #, #

💭#5

“I believe that it is our duty to help create products that promote the welfare of all people, not only users of our products but also non-users of our products who might be impacted by our creations, including future generations, animals, plans, and ecosystems.”

You can call me naive or idealist, but I’m convinced that we should design holistically, consider the interconnectedness of complex systems, and always mitigate the negative impact of our creations.

It is our duty, as designers, to promote the welfare of all people through designs that are inclusive and holistically thought-through.

My thinking is inspired by the philosophy of utilitarianism, which I believe is the most rational approach for ensuring the long-term survival of our species.

📚 Inspired by On Liberty, Utilitarianism and Other Essays by John Stuart Mill

Learn more

Tagged as: #, #, #

💭#4

“Any understanding of the world is incomplete. Be open to new interpretations and perspectives as it can help you to move beyond existing solutions.”

Philosophers are well aware that any understanding of the world is incomplete. As a product designer, I like to remind myself of this simple truth about our world, especially when reviewing older research findings or design solutions.

We need to embrace change and adapt as new information and perspectives emerge. We should question the key decisions from the past and challenge the existing solutions when they stop making sense. It could be that circumstances have changed, and what was a sensible solution before is no longer the one. 

Learn more

Tagged as: #, #

💬 UXD Quote #5

“You don’t truly understand something until you quantified it. But you understand nothing at all if all you do is quantify.”

Unknown Author

The limitation of quantitative data is that it describes what happened but not why or how it happened. As design researchers, we should seek answers to the questions of why by talking to our customers or stakeholders.

Combining quantitative and qualitative research methods is a good rule of thumb. Remember, quantitative and qualitative methods complement one another; they are complementary, not mutually exclusive.  

📚 Source: 101 Things I Learned® in Engineering School by John Kuprenas & Matthew Frederick

Tagged as: #, #

💬 UXD Quote #4

“A well-designed product isn’t well designed if the process needed to manufacture it is unrealistic or uneconomical.”

Matthew Frederick 

A brilliantly conceived alternative-fuel vehicle will not succeed without the design and implementation of a refuelling infrastructure over a large geographic area. A cleverly resolved construction detail isn’t clever if it doesn’t leave room for a construction worker to manipulate the tools needed to construct it. A bridge pier that’s well engineered won’t be built without also engineering a process to excavate earth and pour concrete in the middle of a river. 

Remember, there is often design besides the design and a well-designed product isn’t well designed if the process needed to manufacture it is unrealistic or uneconomical. 

📚 Source: 101 Things I Learned® in Engineering School by John Kuprenas & Matthew Frederick

Tagged as: #, #

🔎 Science is our remarkable but imperfect attempt to explain reality

Science is a system of understanding created by humans, and as such it is contained within reality. Reality doesn’t follow science, but itself only. 

“Science is our remarkable but imperfect attempt to explain reality. Quantification is exact not into reality, but into itself.”

When we observe or measure something, the very act of doing so alters the observed reality. In some ways, our measurements and observations, even when conducted scientifically, are nothing but our “imperfect” attempts to quantify reality. 

📚 Source: 101 Things I Learned® in Engineering School by John Kuprenas & Matthew Frederick

Tagged as: #, #

💬 UXD Quote #3

“Customer service is where actual, individual human needs and expectations crash headfirst into reality.”

Erika Hall

My favourite shortcut to “first-hand” insights from customers is talking to customer-support frontline workers. If you’re looking for great research insights, and don’t have budget for talking to your customers directly, try talking to your customer support teams who directly deals with customer issues. If a customer needed to reach out to your support team it’s a great indicator of an opportunity that exists in your product.

📚 Source: Just Enough Research by Erika Hall

Tagged as: #, #

💭#3

“Pride comes before the fall. Remember, the lack of confidence is your enemy, but so is overconfidence.”

The best way to design amazing product is to stay curious and keep your ego at bay. Always ask questions when unsure, be inquisitive, and don’t assume that you know everything that needs to be known because most likely you don’t.

Learn more

Tagged as: #, #

💬 UXD Quote #2

“Strategy is not a lengthy action plan. It is the evolution of a central idea through continually changing circumstances.”

Jack Welch, General Electric’s reforming ex-CEO

Inspired by writings of Carl von Clausewitz, the Prussian chief-of-staff at Waterloo, who in his book On War successfully distilled Napoleon into theory. Clausewitz’s approach to strategy was descriptive rather than prescriptive.

Men cannot reduce strategy to a formula. Some of our plans will necessarily fail, due to the inevitable frictions: chance events, imperfections in execution, and the independent will of the opposition. That’s why having a sound strategy as a beacon driving our decisions is essential, serving as the evolution of a central idea through continually changing circumstances.

📚 Source: On War by Carl von Clausewitz

Tagged as: #, #

💬 UXD Quote #1

“All it takes to turn potential hindsight into happy foresight is keeping your eyes open and asking the right questions. Failing isn’t the only way to learn.”

Erika Hall

Data can be inaccurate and misleading. It is better to assume that not all data you get is always 100% accurate. And also be aware of the possibility of biased interpretation of your data. Data can often be intentionally skewed by those presenting it to us.

📚 Source: Just Enough Research by Erika Hall

Tagged as: #, #

💭#2

“If you base all your design decisions on data only, your designs will be only as good as your data is.”

Data can be inaccurate and misleading. It is better to assume that not all data you get is always 100% accurate. And also be aware of the possibility of biased interpretation of your data.

Learn more

Tagged as: #, #

💭#1

“Isn’t it somehow paradoxical that one of the most important characteristics of a good design — its unobtrusiveness — renders it harder to notice and appreciate?”

Good design is somehow invisible, which contributes to the common perception of design as a discipline that is somehow unimportant or easy to do. It’s somehow paradoxical that one of the most important characteristics of a good design, its unobtrusiveness, renders it harder to notice or appreciate.

Bad design, on the contrary, because it is more noticeable and easier to spot, gets associated with design as a profession, contributing to the more critical view of design as a useful discipline.

📚 Inspired by The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman 

Learn more

Tagged as: #, #

📝 The theory of proposition density in design

Published on 15.Dec 2023

We all know, that some logos are considered to be inspirational works of art while most of them are average at best. But have you ever wondered why?

Learn more

Tagged as: #, #, #, #

📝 Better prompt archive management for ChatGPT

Published on 1.Sep 2023

If you are like me, you must be familiar with that feeling of frustration when scrolling through the “infinite” list of your past conversations with ChatGPT, looking for the particular one you want to re-check again, just to realise that you can’t find it — at least, not quickly and without a significant effort. So one summer afternoon, I started ideating on the concept of a better prompt archive management.

Learn more

Tagged as: #, #, #