Thanks to everyone who could attend the Fringe Design conversation at SXSW on Sunday. For those who couldn't come to the session, we had an interesting discussion.
We started the conversation by running through a deck with a few examples and revealed the design principles we feel embody designing for fringe audiences.
Examples of fringe design
We discussed these examples in detail. You can read more about them on our blogs.
- Clothing designed to protect you against disease transmission
- Recollect: Archive your online life
- The creation of an Alzheimer's village
Fringe design principles
These are the design principles you should adhere to when designing for fringe audiences.
- Focus on people; not on ability
- Focus on togetherness, not individuals
- Focus on the continuum, not on the moment
Brainstorm: how can SXSW be improved for the hearing impaired?
We started the conversation by brainstorming how SXSW could be experienced by someone who is hearing impaired. We quickly ruled out interpreters and closed captioning, because they wouldn't allow the attendee to capitalize on some of the spontaneous moments of the festival.
We thought Google Glass could be modified to help enhance the experience of someone who is hearing impaired and experiencing SXSW and had virtual tweeters join in the conversation.
We concluded that many wearables could be improved if they were designed for people with disabilities as a primary audience, but marketed to everyone. We certainly believe it would help change the notion of a Google Glasshole.
The graphic recordings that are completed at many of the keynote sessions could also be helpful. Little did we know Chris Cullmann was working on a graphic recording of our session as we made that comment.
A few conversational highlights
Organizing schools by strengths. There are many types of learning styles and designing a school that caters to abilities could help anyone strengthen the areas they are stronger. We discussed how a student who is deaf might be more visual. Since there are often schools for students with disabilities, people with differences aren't getting an opportunity to learn from others (and vice versa).
Benefits of designing for fringe audiences. No one will suffer by designing for people with disabilities. You'll never hear someone complain that something was "too easy to read," but you often hear people complain that websites and graphics are too hard to read.
Niche audiences pay off. One of our attendees noted that companies often develop products that are embraced by consumers in a way they don't expect. She mentioned that the Ford Focus is really popular with the elderly in Europe because of it's simplicity and ease of use. The Ford Focus is one of the top selling cars in the world.
Deception. The thought of deception was discussed two different ways during our conversation.
- It is cool to deceive someone with a disability if the deception ultimately benefits them? The Alzheimer's village isn't deception because, ultimately, someone with Alzheimer's wants to feel as if they are in control of their life and the changes to the village allow them to have that control.
- Is it cool to deceive a client so that you can create products that are more accessible? Especially if it helps them in the end? We determined that aligning the goals of your client with accessibility or suggesting how features could be used for other purposes would be helpful. We discussed how search engines are the world's most influential bling user and SEO is one of the best things that could happen to accessibility in web design.
Many thanks to all of the attendees for a great discussion.
We want to thank @krening for live tweeting the conversation and to @kesslerandrew, @chadvavra, @christienic, @johnwromano, @JacobShiach, @DanielGrushkin, @evrmind, @mt_Suzette, @wearascough, @hcbhealth, @switchGirl, @cullmann, @coynepr, @greaterthanone, @journalynn, @toyrobots, @Kholler, @carenjla, @gsciallis, @RyannosaurusRex for contributing to the conversation on Twitter. We also want to thank @cullmann for illustrating the conversation while he participated.
We used Everest Live to facilitate and recap the discussion. Many thanks to Arik Abel for setting that up.
An overview of several articles related to the talk can be found here: Articles related to Fringe Design: Tackling Disability and Death.
#FringeDesign for more articles on designing for the Fringe.
Discussing Designing for the Fringe on the 3D LILA Podcast.
Designing for the Fringe: Making dysphagia-safe carrots at home.
The presentation and my notes from my portion of the presentation at South by Southwest (SXSW). My perspective was mostly focused on the utilitarian purpose fo 3D printed food -- particularly for those with Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia).
Dysphagia is the medical term for the symptom of difficulty in swallowing. Dysphagia brings a major life change. Advancements in the word of 3D printing open the door for more people to enjoy nutritious, fresh food.
A few notes about my submission to the Panel Picker for the 2016 SXSW Interactive festival.
A tiny home could make it easier for my mom to age near us (or for us to live near her).
The US transportation system falls short for the elderly. Understanding why can make it better.
The NEA focuses an entire issue on the arts and accessibility to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. *Swoon*
Stephanie Thomas is cur8able, curating clothing and lifestyle products that are accessible /smart/ stylish for people with disabilities.
A video game, Forget-Me-Knot, helps people understand what it is like to have Alzheimer's.
Headphones help those who are blind use the ATM. Watch and learn.
BrainDance is a collaborative project bringing together dance choreographers, neuroscientists, physicians, philosophers and people with Parkinson's disease to explore movement.
Despite multiple setbacks, Frida Kahlo did not live in the world of the disenfranchised. She lived as a goddess whose entire being is a work of art.
The dying process is messy. It’s hard on everyone. It’s confusing. It’s painful. It’s the beginning of your grief. Talking about it early will help the survivors cope.
The story of one shoe that expands to 5 sizes and last for five years.
Surfing the web, and this website, with a screen reader.
How the blind watch movies, TV and play video games.
Emily McDowell made empathy cards to say all the things that are difficult to say.
As your parents and loved ones grow older you start to notice subtle differences in the way they live their lives. These modifications generally come after something has happened.
Crisis Mappers Network, a large, active, international community of experts, practitioners, policymakers, technologists, researchers, journalists, scholars, hackers and skilled volunteers who are using technology, crowd-sourcing and crisis mapping to answer our humanitarian needs.
Through telepresence and a Segway-like robot, Beam helps those with disabilities see the world.
Can using 3D printing solve animal protection issues?
A wearable device that allows you to send messages with simple gestures.
The get-to-know-you card game for people you've known your whole life.
Personal experience helped a Boy Scout create a wearable to prevent Alzheimer's patients from wandering.
A 12-year-old makes a braille printer with Legos. In other unrelated news, I waste a lot of time watching TV.
Banana fibers solve a problem for 50% of the developing world.
Peter and Peregrine are advocating for children and engineers to work together to create solutions.
Lisa Russell speaking about creating empowering film narratives. No more sad documentaries!
Neil Brandvold speaking on conflict journalism and what it's like to be a witness to culture changing moments.