chosun.com reported yesterday that Samsun is planning to release monitors for the color blind:
Samsung announced … it is developing liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors that support color correction technology for people with dyschromatopsia or color blindness and will launch them in the first half of the year. People with dyschromatopsia have difficulty telling differences in color and need stronger stimuli than the normally sighted.
This is great news, not just for those with visual impairments, but for web developers, web site owners and in fact for anyone who develops a product to be viewed onscreen. With the advent of web standards and separation of display and content through proper use of CSS and XHTML great strides have already been made in making the web a more accessible place. The fact that search engine spiders are basically ‘blind’ users, is a major incentive as well. Unfortunately, considerations for those with less extreme visual impairments have been little implemented, though some tools do exist for developing web sites with that in mind, such as VisCheck.
Although at first this upcoming technology may only be available to those with a certain income level, it is still a major step in allowing more access to more content to more people and a comes as a great relief to designers who would like to design with a few fewer restrictions.
If you would like to know more about designing for accessibility, I highly recommend diveintoaccessibility.org. It should be required reading for anyone given publishing rights on any web server!
Google‘s new ‘Local Business Center‘ was announced today and has already recieved a lot of coverage, mainly relating it’s signifigance to growing rivalry between Google and Yahoo. Internet business news aside, I’m curious about it’s potential benefits as a marketing tool.
To test it out, I used my gmail login for my account information, which worked. I then entered a client’s business name and address, which quickly took me to an existing listing, and upon my confirmation, to a google map depicting the office’s exact location. This frightened me a little, because it was so easy and I could just imagine all the ficticious entries people could make. But Google thought of that and I was relieved to see that a pin number would me mailed to the address I entered for verification.
Options for a business listing include standard contact information, including the designation of an email address (which I declined, lest spambots be drooling over Google listings), website address, business category and a 200 character description. Conveniently, the form shows your word count in real time so you can really play with it to get just the right key words in there! It comes as no suprise that 200 characters does not make many words. Using conjunctions, informal tone and substiting the word ‘and’ with an ampersand is highly recommended.
According the confirmation page, I will recieve two letters of confirmation. That is, one letter to the address of the original listing they detected and one to the address after modification – in this case, the addition of the +4 zip code extension.
I noticed the business category listings were limited and seemed to be retail oriented, although were at least a dozen services. I wonder how many categories they will expand to after people submit their suggestions. In the case of the business I listed this time there was a vaguely related category available but not the professional category…e.g. ‘Services – Landscape Designers’ vs. ‘Services – Landscape Architects’ where the former indicates anyone asserting opinion on the design of a landscape and the latter category indicating another level of service and requirement of liscensure to practice as such.