Skip to main content

David Mead

Looking forward to hearing from @feather next week, about accessibility in design systems and business - Sign up for @a11ycle Meetup, hosted at @progressive.
https://www.meetup.com/Cleveland-Accessibility-Meetup/events/261028665/

David Mead

Sketch plugin goes from free to paid, with dark pattern. Looking at you @sketch_runner...

2 min read

I'm a big fan of a Sketch plugin called Runner.  This lets you run, and install, plugins from within Sketch by typing-much like Alfred.

When I hit the keystroke to launch it today, nothing happend. I went to tool bar and everything looked normal, so I started it from there.  What I saw was a splash screen for Runner Pro.

screenshot of Runner splash screen

I didn't want to start a 14 day free trail. I just wanted to keep using the free (and only version up-to that point) that I had installed.

I clicked through the "Discover what's new" sections until I got to the end.  This had another start free trial call-to-action.

screenshot of last splash page for Runner

 

Nothing on how to keep using the version I had.

I went to the site to find it's now all about the paid version of Runner Pro. Digging down into the documentation online I found the top FAQ is now "Is Runner paid only?"

Seems I have to use the paid version for 14 days, which then reverts to the free version. I get it. You want people to adopt it and pay for the hard work put into a great tool. No argument there.  Just this approach feels very "dark pattern" and not great to me.

Some reassuring text on the splash pages wouldn't have had me searching the FAQ's and wondering if there are alternatives. Also wouldn't make me second guess paying for the Pro version, which is where I am now.

 

David Mead

Be aware of false positives when using #a11y contrast ratio plugins...

2 min read

I know you everyone knows this, but just in case you don't here's a pro-tip.

When using a contrast ratio plugin with Sketch (or other design tools) make sure the text layer is set to 100% opacity. Why? Because if you don't, you may get a false positive result.

screenshot showing 14px black text on gray background passing AAA level from WCAG

Here's some 14px Rubik type using #000000 (black) on a background of #D8D8D8 (gray). We get a nice 'AAA' pass when testing against the WCAG.

But if I take the text layers opacity down to 20%, what do you think happens?

screenshot showing 14px light gray text on gray background passing AAA level from WCAG

I still get the same passing grade. I assume this is because the checker still knows this is solid black text, but has no insight to the opacity of the layer.

Visually the text is the same color as #ACACAC (light gray) which would fail the contrast check.

screenshot showing 14px light gray text on gray background failing WCAG contrast check

When running your design through a checker, just make sure someone (because of course you wouldn't) has not changed the text color by adjusting a layers opacity instad of choosing a specific color.

The two plugins I use for Sketch are:

and they both seem to bring back these passes when the layers opacity are changed. 

David Mead

If it wasn't for @jarango's newsletter I would've missed a great article on diagramming design systems by @nathanacurtis.
https://medium.com/eightshapes-llc/design-systems-architecture-diagrams-3fc13ec979e3
If @medium has an RSS feed I can never find it.

David Mead

Thoughts on The Division 2 private beta

3 min read

The original game has been my mainstay for a couple of years now. An original concept of NYC collapsing after an engineered smallpox pandemic. Completing missions, grinding for gear and commendations kept it interesting.

With the second one announced, I was all in. I have already pre-order The Division 2, and I was lucky to get a beta code from E3 last year too.

The Division 2 private beta loading screen

The Story

I really like the time and location jump. Washington D.C. in the sweltering summer after the pandemic. The city looks overgrown and falling apart.

screenshot - looking at Washington monument

Adding 'Settlements' that you have to help and maintain is something is interesting. Adding to the lore and continual play. Holding "control points" also looks like a challenge.

With the rise of new factions, and the promise of an "invasion" as part of the endgame, has me sold.

Lighting

Good grief it's dark. Running into internal corridors, or in the open world at night and it's hard to see anything.

screenshot - dark corridor

I turned the brightness up to 20 (the highest setting) and I still couldn't see half the stuff. I don't expect to see everything, but not knowing what you're stuck on right under your feet is an issue.

Sound

In the first game, sound design was great! It was immersive and gave great clues where people were. In this beta I had big issues with the sound - as in there was none.

I would go into combat and have zero sound. Running around in a silent movie didn't help. Both times I tried 'Conflict' all I could hear was the wind. Made it unplayable.

When it was there though, it was excellent and atmospheric.

PvP

I'm not the greatest fan of PvP to be honest. In the first Division game I would go into the Dark Zone only when I had to for the first year of play. It's in the Division 2. I'll play it, but I don't have much to say.

Glitches/Bugs

Yes, it's a beta so we're still running out the kinks. Some though were very annoying. I mentioned the sound, but there was also a delay when firing certain weapons which felt weird.

Completing the hostage rescue only to find you couldn't actually rescue him. It didn't register the door opened or you in the room.

When talking to NPCs, I'd get trapped in boxes or behind barriers. Also NPCs would walk through the scenery.

screenshot - trapped in scenery

Summary

I'm sold. The graphics are better, the world larger and felt more interactive.

If they can sort out the sound and small glitches (this was a beta) then I can see losing vast amounts of time on this.

David Mead

@jrAccessibility will be going over the basics of , issues online, and tonight. More at https://www.meetup.com/Cleveland-Accessibility-Meetup/events/257287270/
/via @a11yCLE