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AMERICAN BLACKSHOE Posts

The issue is accessibility.

June 14, 2015 • Deirdre Black

Image credit: Jil Wright, Flickr

For all my good intentions to make regular contributions to this blog, I chose instead to forgo posting until I cleared up some accessibility issues that my website was experiencing. When I first set up the site, it tested well for web accessibility, usability, and user experience. Evidently, as time passed, problems developed.

Keep in mind that web accessibility is not the same as web usability, and it’s also not properly considered a user experience issue. It’s odd, I know, but this is the case, nevertheless. Certainly, all three are concerned with human-centered design principles and activities as they pertain to computer-based interactive systems. All three have the best chance of being achieved if identified as a priority before website development even begins. And, given the fluid nature of webtech development and the always expanding demands made of it, neither 100% accessibility nor 100% usability nor 100% positive user experience is ever truly accomplished.

Usability refers to ease of use and can logically be considered an aspect of user experience and of accessibility. The difference between user experience and accessibility ultimately comes down to Finish reading The issue is accessibility.

The United Kingdom, Great Britain, England and … wait what?

September 16, 2014 • Deirdre Black

The vote on Scottish Independence has some scratching their heads about the relationship between England and all those other places that use currency displaying Queen Elizabeth II’s image. If you’re one of those people and would like a quick and amusing explanation, then C.G.P. Grey’s video might be just up your street.

The Roosevelts: An Intimate History

September 9, 2014 • Deirdre Black

Eleanor Roosevelt in a 1940 Red Cross Appeal

Eleanor Roosevelt stands as a mythic figure in my family. Our folklore praises her for personally intervening in response to a plea for help by my grandmother and her siblings during the 1940s. While I have no documented evidence to support the story, for some reason I choose to accept it as true… perhaps due to my own desire to be part of the Roosevelt family’s great historical drama. It should come as no surprise then that I’ll be tuning in to watch the seven-part, Ken Burns’ series The Roosevelts: An Intimate History  which begins September 14 on PBS. I’m really looking forward to it.

And we’re back

September 2, 2014 • Deirdre Black

What with work, recreation, and those random “surprises” life can be depended upon to throw at all of us, it’s been a crazy busy summer. But now I’m back and ready to share the research and information sources I discover out in the great wide world.

I’ll do my best to re-establish my posting routine starting today.

The Forgotten Stars of Silent Film

June 18, 2014 • Deirdre Black

Reading the Atlantic online yesterday, I stumbled across an article on the dismal preservation record for American-made silent films.

In an article entitled The Forgotten Stars of Silent Film, Adrienne LaFrance claims that “Some 70 percent of the movies made in the United States between 1912 and 1929—nearly 8,000 titles—are lost to history.”

In an attempt to flesh out information about the surviving films , a series of screenings will take place over a long weekend next month at the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Virginia. Anyone and everyone is invited to attend and “shout out” details as the films role.

There have been 204 such screenings in the past through which 100 films have been identified. For more information about the films and the silent film survey, visit the American Silent Feature Film Database.