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It's been a while since I've given an update on Fluid's design activities. Over the past months, the design team has been hard at work generating new ideas and designs for both Floe and Fluid at large. Here's an update of just some of the things we've been up to:
User Interface Options
(- Sometimes known as Learner Options)
- We iterated on the original 2008 UI Options designs. This iteration introduced the idea of multiple configurations (e.g., "full page", "in situ panel") to provide implementors with a choice of different integrations for different contexts (e.g., account settings, on specific content pages, persistently throughout the site, etc.).
- We're currently user testing an implemented version of UIO (using Infusion 1.4) in both Spain and Canada, and have preliminary plans for an additional phase of user research before pursuing another design iteration.
- The next design iteration will introduce mobile UIO, along with other new features and refinements to existing functionality, as per testing and research outcomes.
- As part of a series of demos to convey the ideas and principles behind Floe, we created a number of concept designs demonstrating multi-layered content, alternatives demands-matching services, and more.
Educational resource authoring tool
- In collaboration with ISKME/OER Commons, we designed an open educational resource authoring tool, intended primarily for use by K-12 educators in the OER Commons community.
- This tool was designed with accessibility and inclusion high in mind, and included behaviour and characteristics such as:
- Strong encouragement of layered, multi-modal content, including reminders of when content is missing alternatives
- Strong encouragement of structured content
- Sensitivity to UI/Learner Options
- AccessForAll metadata integration and adaptation visibility (ISO 24751)
- Multiple paths + redundant modes of use without being obtrusive (e.g., adding an image by file drag-and-drop, system dialog, or linking to a web URL--all operable via keyboard or mouse)
- Appropriate metadata fields for open licenses and describing educational resources
- An early implementation of the authoring tool is available on the OER Commons staging site
Accessible video player
- After researching existing video players on the web, we started design of an accessible, HTML5-based (w/ Flash fallback) video player
- Key characteristics of the design include:
- Richly layered content: closed captions, interactive transcript, and video descriptions
- Localization of all layers
- Breadth of preferences (visual, enhanced keyboard operation)
- Frame and caption previews on hover
- Background, ambient blending
- An early implementation of the video player is now available
- We conducted usability and accessibility testing in Spain and Canada on Amara (formerly Universal Subtitles), the video subtitling web application and online community. Results were shared and discussed with the PCF, and we look forward to further collaborations on this front.
Inclusive Learning Design Handbook
- Many new articles, chapters, and content have been added to the ILDH, reflecting our work and lessons learned over the past yearn Floe
- We designed a new, responsive layout for the ILDH. This design is currently on the shelf, but the original implemented ILDH was refreshed with an intermediate design.
- We created an online space for showcasing projects relating to inclusive web experiences, both wrt design and development, and whether or not they are directly related to Fluid projects.
- This space is currently populated primarily by projects from students of the Master's of Inclusive Design program (OCAD University), as well as Johnny Taylor's work on FSS + WordPress.
User states & contexts
- We drafted an alternative to user modelling via personas to address the challenge of describing diverse users in very large populations (e.g., on Floe, the population of "any user who might use an online educational resource").
- This early, rough draft of the user states & contexts method allows us to avoid the typecasting challenge of personas, while being able to describe the nuance of user abilities.
- The work of refining this method is very much ongoing.
If you have any questions or feedback on this work, or suggestions of future work and directions, please let us know. We're here with open ears, even if we're sometimes quiet on the mailing list, :)
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