When Art Becomes Excessive – blacknegative

Transcript of audio: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1v3h1LJJt3I-x6INS4D3S9_Cws_igf292ehZQzFs7P0c/edit?usp=sharing

A screenshot of the website

A screenshot of the project page. You can see the very small, gray text. The cursor was hovering over the right text to show the button, but it actually made it harder to read.

A screenshot of a video on the website

This is a screenshot of one of the videos on the website. You can see there are no controls. The cursor (not visible) is actually an ‘X’ to signify its cancelling function.


  • Nina Moorman

    I was impressed overall by your audio post, however I have one suggestion. When you started explaining your attempt to control the video using Windows Narrator, while it was interesting, you lost some of the audience because anyone not quite as tech-savvy would not be able to follow your brief explanation. I would suggest going in more depth about what you did to test the perceivability through Windows Narrator (for example defining css code), in order to make it an effective proof of the websites limited perceivability.

    Great job!!!

    • Matthew Webster

      I completely agree with the comments left by Nina Moorman. She effectively summarized the lack of clarification and specificity in Dallas’s Windows Narrator jargon; and I appreciate that she brought up this subject since I experienced similar feelings when reading this section of the post. I do suggest that it would have been beneficial to request details regarding the basic applications for Windows Narrator, and possibly why a blind individual would utilize this software.

      • Dallas Downing

        Thank you for your feedback. I didn’t include these details when I recorded because it would have made it longer than necessary, but I realize that these details are essential for people to understand my arguments. I will try my best to address your concerns below.

        Windows Narrator is an accessibility program built into Windows. The purpose of the program is to read on-screen outloud to you. Some blind people and elderly people would use this to make the computer easier to use. Now websites use HTML and CSS code to dictate the design and features of the website. The Windows Narrator, rather than scan the page, scans the website code to find the appropriate text to read. Unfortunately, the blacknegative website uses a lot of CSS code and Javascript to bring the page to life. The intricate code makes it incredibly difficult for the program to find what text it needs to read, so the Narrator gets glitched. I actually glitched the website itself when I trying to use the Narrator before the program crashed.

  • Hartley Mcguire

    I definitely agree that the site’s complexity causes it to be significantly harder to perceive. Even though the site is a portfolio of the company’s designs, that doesn’t mean it should sacrifice its usability. In fact, the designers of the site should try to go the extra mile and show that they can do more than just design a pretty website. I would be considerably more impressed with a site that was very accessible as well as having a solid design. It shows that a designer not only has artistic talent but is also conscious of the necessity for creating accessible interfaces.

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