Never Say Never? Participating in #SXSW

It is highly unlikely I could handle an interactive conference or festival. It may be a bit too much sensory overload. Shopping at Target or Walmart feels as if I am attending an interactive conference and festival!

Majority of the individuals I follow on Twitter, are from the web design community; therefore, my Twitter feed is currently full of #SXSW hashtags. I try and not entertain the idea of attending these events. I have come to accept the fact that I can not attend ; however, that does not discourage me from interacting. I comb the SXSW website and I click all of the #SXSW links that storm my Twitter feed. It makes me feel as if I am a participant.

What a thrill it was today checking my Twitter feed and seeing a tweet from Veronica Johnson. There was a Twitter photo of her holding up a t-shirt.

Veronica Johnson holding up mashable t-shirt at SXSW

 

Veronica picked me up some swag over at the Mashable booth! The crazy thing is I have never met or spoken directly with Veronica in person. We have connected via tweets, email,  and comments on the blog. She thought enough of me to include me in her #SXSW experience. Thank you Veronica Johnson for allowing me to participate through your journey! You are the best.

 

Much love,
Marissa

Vestibular Perspective On Websites

As you may know I have suffered from a vestibular disorder  (chronic imbalance/vertigo) for 6 years. I am noticing websites are becoming more animated and motion and movement are becoming dominant. I struggle viewing certain websites that are filled with motion/movement because of my vestibular condition.

Derek Featherstone, accessibility expert, is kind enough to look into a  possible solution. I have tried to disable JavaScript and disable images but neither option worked. Most websites became unusable. Derek asked me to provide 10 websites that give me trouble. I wanted to give the vestibular community an opportunity to express what websites are bothersome to them when viewing the web.  However, I started to think there are conditions outside vestibular disorders where movement and motion on a website could be bothersome.  Would motion and movement on websites be an issue for the Dystonia community, Ataxia community, etc? My friend AKA my brother Blake Watson doctored up the code on a beautiful Automattic theme so we could have the following site.

I would hate to see the web continue to move forward and we get to a place where viewing websites is unbearable for a group of users. I am hoping this site will give a voice to the vestibular community and other disorders that deal with issues of movement/motion when using the web. I also hope it will give designers and developers a little insight into how certain communities are experiencing the websites they create.

Much love,
Marissa