Around the Office: The Value of Boredom, Aphasia-Friendly Websites, & the Offline Masses

Entertaining Ourselves Away From Creativity

While it offers some entertainment in downtime, Daveed is a little worried his iPhone could be zapping his creativity. There’s a growing body of evidence to suggest that devices like the iPhone that let us text, tweet, update, call, watch, read, play, etc. prevent us from being alone with our thoughts, and this can limit our creativity. Letting our thoughts drift can often lead to the sorts of unexpected connections that formulate good ideas. The distraction of your iPhone could be putting constraints on your boredom. And boredom could be your muse.

Building Websites for Aphasiacs

In our ongoing effort to make the Internet accessible to everyone, Andy learned about how websites should be made so those with Aphasia can better use websites. Often linked to brain damage (including stroke), Aphasia is a condition of which symptoms range from difficulty remembering words to losing the ability to speak, read, or write. According to the Toronto Accessibility & Inclusive Design meetup group, there are some best-practices for building websites for those with Aphasia: use simple words, large print, white space, illustrations, and bold keywords. And as it turns out, good practices for Aphasia-friendly sites are good practice for low-vision-friendly sites.

The Lives of the Offline

What would you be missing out on by not being online? The 1-million Americans without Internet access may not know. This is why a new print, radio, and TV marketing campaign has been designed to help people know why they should be online – for instance, because more than 4 out of 5 job postings by major companies are posted exclusively online. On the other hand, some people choose to remain offline because they can’t afford it or because of other objections such as privacy concerns. To persuade these people to go online, perhaps some financial assistance or addressing some of the Internet’s downsides could be in order.