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RE: [ia-57] [JOB] UI Developer, Seattle, WA | 70-90k

From: Michael P.
Sent on: Friday, April 10, 2009 8:36 AM
> Sounds like whoever the client is, he just wants a good simple elegant graphic user interface. There's nothing wrong with elegance and simplicity. If the client later wants increased functionality it can be added later...

"A strong belief in elegance and simplicity!" usually negates ( the need for ) 
  "Strong command of client-side scripting languages" :-)

I apologize for being so obtuse in a public forum, the two requirements popped out because of a recent investigation I've been making for a friend that has a severe mental condition which has been randomly triggered and then exacerbated by (for want of a more precise term) 'high stimulus' media. Think something along the lines of an epileptic seizure induced by strobe lights. The basic condition is that the more 'uninvited' stuff ( banner ads, for example) and the complexity ( arrangement and hierarchy ) , sheer amount of attentional items, bright colors and high contrast, etc. (i.e. just about everything that artist to advertisers use to get eye share :-) create an persistent emotional state that "... feels like standing on a high overhanging river bank with rapids eroding the ground beneath". This then entails a domino-like progression from unease, to confusion, then fear, to anger.

So in relation to my previous remark, we are attempting to 'throttle' or choke down the cognitive stimulus and bandwidth of the web and the computer interface, since it is vital for him to have access to support forums, health care information, daily information like weather reports, etc. - 'hyper-simplifying'.­ A variety of approaches offer some promise. I've been experimenting with the text only Lynx browser, we are trying to adapt some of the other accessibility tools ( looking for something like a video driver / plug-ins that will simulate a gray-scale screen ), walling his garden with nanny filters, plug-ins like AdBlock Plus, decreasing the monitor contrast, etc. 

And to some degree, some alternatives are frustrated by the current ubiquitous of Javascript, Flash, implementations on the web. Part of this consists of a sort of stimulus / effect inventory and acquired coping behaviors, like black and white TV and movies simply to not cause the arousal that color does - and a smaller screen which does not fill the visual field helps - see http://electronic...­ 

We've also been working on a new relationship with his computer, this time through the Linux command line instead of the desktop :-) And notably, sites developed with CM systems like Plone seem to degrade well and have a consistent presentation using the text browser - a Google Advanced Search which could be modified that only returned Plone based sites would be really useful, for instance.

While there is a lot of guidelines implementation research on various forms of accessibility  like color blindness, low or no vision, child protection, etc., there doesn't seem much around the various mental heath issues. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know :-)


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