[games_access] Improved Communication Applications

Thomas Westin thomas at westin.nu
Mon Mar 16 19:51:19 EDT 2015

Hi all,

Sorry for my late reply. This discussion is important as we are growing in size; we need to find a way to manage our knowledge while also not drowning in management. It also relates to our educational goal that we found out before and during GDC.

I jump to my (humble) conclusions, in case you don’t have time read my ramblings below :)

1. E-mail lists are low tech/oldschool but that can be a good thing for accessibility and more. I think we should stick to this as our default mode of communication internally of the SIG
2. The web page is be our main interface towards the public, and as we are volunteers we need to think about what is feasible to do regarding other possible channels. I think we should start by updating the igda-gasig.org site. Any volunteers for that :)
3. Other than that: this is informal volunteer work, so if you use a cloud service, app or other software that you find useful for a specific SIG-related purpose, that is entirely up to you. Also, the SIG don’t have any funding so you have to pay for it yourself if there are any fees attached. 

The motivation:

First, a glance into our history: In addition to this e-mail list we have had an online forum and also chat meetings, first with MSN and (later) Skype. Reasons that we decided to use text chat rather than voice, was that 1) we had one deaf person in the group at the time, 2) it was self-documenting, i.e. no need of transcribing or taking notes 3) text chat required lower bandwidth - not as big a problem today as long as we only have members from high-income countries (not sure about if that is true but that is my guess). That being said, text is not good for everyone (e.g. dyslectics) so there is no optimal mode of expression, but it would be interesting to know how big the problem of text is for people on the list, if the software solutions for accessibility dyslexics have can make it accessible enough. If yes, I’d prefer to keep using text as our default mode of communication. I agree that having a more up to date e-mail list interface for both signing up and contributing would be a good thing. An app-based interface would of course also be good. 

Going forward, I’m open to any suggestions as long as I can handle the main communication via my e-mail box and doesn’t add to the workload. From an accessibility point of view, the current plague of passwords is a huge barrier (not to mention diminishing an open and free Internet). Keeping the number of passwords to a minimum is what I strive for (and no password managers).

However, I guess most of use cloud services when it is motivated for collaboration on e.g. documents and presentations, but not all use it for daily communication, right? Or am I the only one? For the same reason, I have breifly tried Trello, and it is used by the game industry (https://trello.com/b/gHooNW9I/ue4-roadmap). It seems like a good tool for collaboration on longer, complex projects, but is it accessible enough? Has anyone with low-vision / blindness tried it with a screen reader for instance? I rather keep our communication low-tech than adding new barriers. 

Further, we must be careful adding yet another system to our workload as we are all volunteers. The web page is rarely updated (http://igda-gasig.org/), so is our Twitter (https://twitter.com/IGDAGameAccess), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/igda.ga.sig) and forums (http://gameaccesssig.forumotion.com/). All of these are linked to from igda-gasig.org After GDC last year, we discussed how to consolidate our communications. I think it is important to remember that our main goal here is to make games more accessible, not managing a plethora of channels. But, if someone steps up and says hey, I can take of this and that channel, you’re very welcome to do so. Personally, I’m happy if I keep my inbox to 0 unread (and answered) e-mails.

Best regards,

13Mar 2015 kl. 17:27 skrev Ian Hamilton <i_h at hotmail.com>:

> I think there are two pretty distinct needs - general chat, and collaboration on projects. 
> For general chat / news / etc, the other SIGs use either email or linked in. Personally I prefer linked in, but it does have the fairly big problem (as with wiggio) that it requires people to sign up for a site that they may not already be using, which is a barrier for people who only have a passing interest.
> If we do stick with email, I agree that it could do with a bit of an upgrade, making the sign-up form a bit more up to date and informative, and someone at the round table suggested having a web form interface for contributing to the list too.
> For collaboration, it depends a bit on the scale of the project. For some things just a couple of people co-editing a google doc has been fine, doing something like dividing up into sub-tasks and tracking progress would be overkill.. But for something more involved, I completely agree, a tool like Trello would definitely be useful.
> Perhaps a master Trello setup would also be useful, so there's a single location for information about any things that are currently going on? Smaller projects could just be a single link out from Trello to a google doc or something like that, and any bigger ones live on their own sub-boards?
> Ian
> From: sandra_uhling at web.de
> To: games_access at igda.org
> Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2015 16:01:06 +0100
> Subject: Re: [games_access] Improved Communication Applications
> Hello Andreas,
> Thanks a lot for your suggestion. I agree with you.
> I wish for collaboration editor. That would be great.
> I also suggest a vision and aims with the S.M.A.R.T. form.
> Regards Sandra
> -- 
> Diese Nachricht wurde von meinem Android Mobiltelefon mit WEB.DE Mail gesendet.
> Andreas Lopez <andreas.lopez93 at gmail.com>schrieb:
> Dear IGDA SIG Accessibility members,
> I wondered if we should not upgrade our communication means with easy to use applications and keep better track of our achievements and such than going back into e-mails if we want to look something up.
> We could utilize Wiggio (https://wiggio.com) for communication (which also let you send reply per e-mail) but works similar to Facebook or Twitter with Message + Comments. Plus it is free.
> Another free tool is 'Trello' (https://trello.com/) there one can easily utilize Cards as To-Do Lists, Achieved Lists, etc. It also allows to integrate checklists, etc. in the various cards. (Although I would for simplicity sake and main communication rather suggest wiggio - if we were ever to switch - because it is much cleaner, interface wise.)
> I work with both in the remote company Space Dwarves Entertainment and found them useful, just a suggestion :)
> Sincerely,
> Andreas Lopez
> Game Designer
> Space Dwarves Entertainment, Inc.
> http://spacedwarves.com/
> Linked In
> _______________________________________________ games_access mailing list games_access at igda.orghttps://pairlist7.pair.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access The main SIG website page is http://igda-gasig.org
> _______________________________________________ games_access mailing list games_access at igda.org https://pairlist7.pair.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access The main SIG website page is http://igda-gasig.org
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