Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Doing Good

Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence : Yellow
Dr. Sketchy's tonight! Woot! Disclaimer: images scattered through post have nothing to do with following topic other then the Sisters falling under the banner of "doing good"--

I really enjoyed attending W3Conf last month. It was an ideal first conference since there was only one track and the subjects were very focused. One of the talks that really struck me, and those I was with, was LĂ©onie Watson's "Design like you give a damn: Practical accessibility for web pros" (which is available on YouTube, 40 min long). The talk itself was rather simple but the Q&A afterwards was informative and the subject itself sort of startling. My coworker, Matt, and I both found the title of the talk appropriately... harsh? Why of course we should make our site not shitty for those who might need to navigate it differently.

Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence : Orange

This last Friday was my first Hack Day at Rdio (got a sweet t-shirt out of it!) and I happily poked at the issue of accessibility. Turns out doing it "right" is hard... and rather stupid because the ARIA spec uses IDs for a lot of stuff, which isn't great for reusable components. Yes, yes, obviously something can be figured out. But for a one-day-at-work project, wrestling with that was more then I wanted to do. Some take-away thoughts:

  • OMG use alt="" if your image is just decorative! If it's not, put some damn text in the attribute.
  • VoiceOver on Mac might not be the hottest screen reader around, but it's so easy to run you have no excuse not to at least try
  • Using buttons or divs with with just a background image for a button is lovely and totally not accessible to screen readers. The aria-label="Button Name" and role="button" attributes are so easy and make a big difference!
  • Handling focus with popup divs is not instantly obvious (I flailed for most of the end Friday with it, got it working for < 2 minutes on Monday, and cannot figure out how I did so nor return to that state since)
Because it was just a one-day hack, no code is really fit to be rolled out... but it's something that will probably be coming soon.

Jumping topics- Dr. Sketchy's was a joy tonight. Our models were several of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, which is my second time drawing them and the fourth time they've modeled for Dr. Sketchy's. I'm thrilled that I got first place in the contest tonight, whose theme was "Draw the new pope". My entry was the following image:

Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence : Pope

I used construction paper today because I knew the Sisters would have lots of black & white... totally wasn't prepared for the amount of pink though. Luckily a kind lady next to me let me borrow hers. The gentlemen to my right (a former art teacher?) also helped me out with drawing some sparkles. Another lady lent me her light blue pencil, which I sadly Sweet Dr. Sketchy's prize! failed to return before she left. What I'm trying to say is that everyone at Dr. Sketchy's is awesome. Also, I must give a shout-out for one of the sponsors Utrecht- the paper (toned gray) and pencils (graphite aquarelle) I won tonight are exciting and I'm looking forward to using them soon. I also won a lovely lei which looks perfect wrapped around my bun.

And just so everyone's aware of it, the Sisters do a big Easter even in Dolores Park every year. They have posted the event calendar and it should be noted that the Hunky Jesus Contest starts at 3:45. I'm not sure if it's my kinda' event, but I've heard good things.

In closing, I just wanted to add that I've finally found a use for my pile o' Dr. Sketchy's doodles (aside from scanning them). The Month of Letters may be over (I bombed the last week) but I am still writing letters (at a far, far slower paces). For several letters now I've been using sketch pages as stationary and winding my words around model's form, scribbled across the page. It hurts less then tossing the scraps and yet gets them off the desk & outa' the house, which Adam approves of. Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence : Banana

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