The First Discovery Tool prototype is awesome!

Clark, Colin cclark at
Thu Jun 4 19:14:15 UTC 2015

Hey FD Tool makers,

I spent some time looking closely at the current build of the First Discovery tool today, and it's amazing! I really think it is an excellent demonstration of the power of personalization, and it does a great job of being simple without ever talking down to the user. The immediacy of the experience is really fantastic as well--it feels fast, responsive, and easy to understand how the changes will impact the user.

A few thoughts came up while I was playing around with it. These are all ideas for the future, not for the upcoming workshop, but I thought it would be worthwhile to share them. Perhaps they're things you're already thinking about it.

In the keyboard panel, I wonder if it would be useful to explain to the user that they're going through a kind of exercise in order for the tool to best suggest features to the user? When the tool does make a decision about what the user needs, it might also be good for the user to be able to nonetheless see what the alternative is, and to have an explanation for why it did what it did. If the user does successfully type the percent sign, it wouldn't hurt to have a way for them to see what would have been available to them, in case they want to explore or learn about different access features. Or even perhaps if a well-meaning friend/family member/passer-by helped them out with it, but they really still need sticky keys, they'd have a way to do so. This is the tip of a really interesting iceberg about how to enable people to see the consequences of a choice they make (as directly as possible) and also to be able to explore what they might have missed (or misunderstood).

You guys have worked really hard on this, and it really shows. People are going to love it at the workshop next week!


Colin Clark
Lead Software Architect,
Inclusive Design Research Centre, OCAD University

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