Simple Design

I’m really inspired tonight by this page, “Design Like It’s 1999,” published by the Dutch designer Vasilis van Gemert. Van Gemert uses the Dutch documentary website 2Doc–which looks pretty cool, incidentally–to demonstrate what it’s like for a blind person to use a modern, javascript-driven website. It’s objectively awful: 

“”One hundred and fourty nine links. And one of them is the one Simon is looking for. I’ve watched him trying to find a link to the archives. The screenreader started reading elements, one by one. Navigation! List! Six items! Home, link! Documentaries, link! To him, every link, and every item on the page seems to be screaming: I am the most important thing on this page! With every single link he has to wonder if this is the one he’s looking for, or if it is one of the other 148 links.””

Van Gemert solves the problem by developing an extremely simple version of the website. His version is too extreme (which is why he develops it into a fully-baked idea on the rest of the site) but it was good to find a post this morning that made me think about accessibility and design instead of social distancing. 

Maybe it’s time to ditch the default theme here and strike out on my own.

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