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July 31st, 2018

Introducing the Stark community project

Since we launched Stark v1 we have seen folks across the industry use the plugin and gotten an incredibly valuable feedback from many of you. From feature requests over encouragement to sharing anectotal feedback of how Stark helped you built better products. We’re excited by all this positive energy. And we did so after seeing how poor the quality of majority accessibility tools is while designing our full-time projects.

Despite being designers and engineers, we knew from the beginning that in order for us to nail this, we needed community support. Because ultimately, we wouldn’t just be building a product for designers and engineers, but for individuals with the actual need for accessibility functionality as well. And throughout our journey so far, we’ve turned to, and been helped by all of you—from designers to individuals with a disability.

We believe that beyond Stark as a product, there is a need for a community that elevates and empowers the doers and makers to design and build products that are accessible, ethical, and inclusive. In that spirit today, we're opening the doors to the new Stark community. With your help, we see this as a two-part project…

Community

Over the course of building Stark so far and truly understanding accessibility, we see the biggest gaps are in education and specific creative exchange and support amongst makers. This includes designers, engineers, and more. Given Accessibility is not a wildly popular topic and in fact one many organization still shy away from, we know bringing the community together in a central place will not only provide folks with the support and accountability but the education necessary.

Want to join, chat with, and learn from a community of people designing and building accessible, ethical and inclusive products? Join our community on Spectrum!

It's super easy to connect and it's a beautiful product for communities.

Blog

We recently kickstarted off our newsletter as a way to share a collection of articles, news and inspiration on the world of a design with a focus on accessibility, color and building world class products with meaning.

The content comes from our team and all of you in the most obvious and hidden spaces of the internet. We look and work hard to try to curate signal in a world full of noise. But a group of people collectively looking to solve some of the world’s greatest problems can thrive and succeed only by coming together to share everything from opinions and initial hypothesis to process, research, and results.

Starting today, anyone can contribute to our blog!

How it works

Submitting

  1. 💌 Submit a proposal for a new or a previously published piece via our Github issues. (The template is already in there as soon as you click Issues)
  2. 💬 We’ll reply within a few hours to a couple days.
  3. 🚫 If we say no, we’ll tell you exactly why and help you shape the idea we think could fit best.
  4. ✅ If we say yes, you work on it and submit whenever works best for you.
  5. 👀 Worried someone in the community may see your topic idea, steal and write about it before you can? It technically can happen, but the odds are statistically proven to decrease when you share it and generally speaking this community is very helpful.

Topics we think are valuable to cover

Accessibility
Purpose
How-to
Building products
etc.

Beyond the screen
Alternative Input and output methods
Service design
Architecture
Illustration
etc.

Hypothesis → Results
Ethical design and building
Case studies
Data
Psychology
Color
Typography
etc.

Writing

We don’t care how long a post takes to write because good things take time. Much like the newsletter, we want to ensure this blog is a place for signal rather than noise. And let’s be honest, the world is noisy enough 🙃 We just ask that you keep us posted if progress or publish date changes.

We’ll also be writing and re-publishing some of our work on there to kick it off.


Through a newsletter, community chat group, blog, and more, we’re building out a community in a way that makes accessibility and inclusivity not a chore, but an inspiration to build products.

Though this is something a little different than usual for us, the community content along with direct input on what tools are needed by you, are something we're looking forward to -- because we’re going to build exactly what you need. So continued thoughts and advice from all of you would be great!

So you don't have to scroll here are the links for the:
Community | Github repo | Blog

Any questions? You can find us on Twitter (quick) or email (slow) :)

Thanks a bunch,
Team Stark (Cat, Michael, Ben, and Agis)