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.

3/10 See Me After Class

Black Negative may be a very cool looking site but the graphic design hides many important design functionalities and breaks many Web Content Accessibility Guidelines in an effort to make the site look cool and trendy.

A sample of the website’s music:

The music plays immediately with no user input which is against WCAG because it can be confusing and difficult to disable for blind users. It’s unclear to me why the music is there in the first place. It adds extremely little to the user experience. Also, and this irritates me even as a non-disabled user, the way to turn off the music in-page is practically hidden. It is there, but it’s so out of place and poorly marked that one could be forgiven for missing it entirely.

I warned you about this last time, Jim.

The Black Negative website contains many design functionality errors.

Throughout the whole site there is just too much going on in the background without functional reason for it which can lead to the site being disorienting and difficult to use. Another problem is that the mouse icon turns in to a weird ‘X’ with a rectangle that says ‘CLOSE’ on it. This is bad in two ways: text in GUIs is almost always bad design, and there are already perfectly good symbols to represent this option!

Don't fix what isn't broken.

What is wrong with these simple, universally-understood symbols?

Furthermore, it’s extremely unclear what mouse movements should be made to navigate to the different options in the menu. I can barely figure it out and I’m trained to work with computers. I imagine my grandmother trying to use the site and the result is an absolute nightmare. She would be freaked out and disoriented by the music (which she would have no idea how to turn off) and would have no idea how to navigate the site. She would at best call me to ask for help and at worst simply close the page and complain to me about it months later.

Some other WCAG sins.

  1. An audio menu option does not appear to exist without outside software.
  2. Alternate language options do not appear to exist without outside software.
  3. The site is essentially inoperable on my phone.
  4. Text alternatives to photos do not appear to exist.
  5. Text sometimes clashes with the background.

The site is pretty but functionality must always come first.

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