The week in quotes (2019W11)

Sebastian Greger

Wow, I’ve been doing this for 10 weeks now, and still enjoying the format. This edition, after an exceptionally busy week, with slightly less quotes than usual:

An article on The Atlantic describes a fascinating form of technology appropriation among teenagers:

As more and more laptops find their way into middle and high schools, educators are using Google Docs to do collaborative exercises and help students follow along with the lesson plan. The students, however, are using it to organize running conversations behind teachers’ backs.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his thoughts on the web’s 30th anniversary:

Against the backdrop of news stories about how the web is misused, it’s understandable that many people feel afraid and unsure if the web is really a force for good. But given how much the web has changed in the past 30 years, it would be defeatist and unimaginative to assume that the web as we know it can’t be changed for the better in the next 30. If we give up on building a better web now, then the web will not have failed us. We will have failed the web.

Louise Petre of shares some thoughts on user research without web analytics:

When we think about the data we hold on our services, the first thing that comes to mind is often website analytics. But there are other valuable and occasionally overlooked types of data that can be really useful to user researchers.

I’ve used several different types of user data which have given me a much richer understanding of user needs than I could have gleaned from web analytics alone.

Ethan Marcotte finds the recent WebAIM study on the state of accessibility on the web depressing:

Hell, my work is constantly done under deadline, the way I work seems to change every year month, and it can feel hard to find the time to learn more about accessibility. And maybe you feel the same way. But the fact remains that we’ve created a web that’s actively excluding people, and at a vast, terrible scale. We need to meditate on that.

The only way this work gets done is if we start small, and if we work together. […] Basically, aim to do one thing this week to broaden your understanding of how people use the web, and adapt your design or development practice to incorporate what you’ve learned.

Kumi Naidoo, the Secretary General of Amnesty International, comments on the #FridaysForFuture movement:

The fact that most governments have barely lifted a finger in response to our mutually assured destruction amounts to one of the greatest inter-generational human rights violations in history.

A (more or less) weekly collection of inspiring, surprising or otherwise noteworthy texts, talks and podcasts. Usually around my core topics of usability, ethics, and digital society. Previous issues in the archive.

I'm Sebastian, Sociologist and Interaction Designer. This journal is mostly about bringing toge­ther social science and design for inclusive, privacy-focused, and sustainable "human-first" digital strategies. I also tend to a "digital garden" with carefully curated resources.

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