[games_access] 9+1 Key Points

John Bannick jbannick at 7128.com
Sun Dec 16 12:58:01 EST 2007


Your 9+1 Key Points grid is great!

It's succinct and contains a bunch of useful, well organized information
that developers can actually use.

A couple of specifics we plan to incorporate into our 2008 plan are: Dwell
Clicking and some kind of Close Captioning (as opposed to just video
subtitles) We'd never heard of the CC duration issue.

Your grid has been useful in improving our terminology. We have our "Idle
Twit" feature: a very limited tutorial that pops up when a game has been
idle for 1 minute. Having the term Tutorial Agent for that feature is
useful when communicating with people outside our company.

Your Item #6, Experience Compensation, is supported by Rosie, one of our
blind playtesters, who demanded "Ear Candy" just as sighted players want
Eye Candy. As a result, we added ambient and incidental sounds related to
the various games. They've gotten a real nice reception from our blind gamers.

Re Item #5 and Assisted Play Modes. I'm personally very strongly of the
opinion that a better solution is to have a single mode that works for

This requires a lot more design thought, practical experience, and
iterative input from actual users. But it results in much less code, much
fewer things to break, much less testing time, and a more understandable
user interface.

Which is not to say that a single UI mode would not have user-settable
switches to turn various accessibility features on and off.

And that being said, we do use the Easy button, which simplifies each game.
So maybe we are using modalities. Hmmm....

Re Item #8, Output Rendering. I'm also of the opinion that KISS trumps
customization. Or more specifically, even though people say they want more
customization, they have a limited tolerance for a multiplicity of options.

The poster child for this was the pagination software I built for the New
York Times. Literally every command was customizable; customer demands! As
a consequence, the product took longer to enhance, debug, and support; oh,
and cost more.

Some sort of marginal analysis is appropriate here.

In any event, you did a fine job with your 9+1 Key Points.
Grids like this are something we can actually apply to product.

John Bannick
7-128 Software

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