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Unexpected usecases

Dom Habersack
Dom HabersackDecember 4, 2019
A flower blooming between two wooden boards.
Will you look at that. I certainly did not expect this.

I had my expectations of how software is used challenged last week when talking to the CTO of a med-tech startup. Their software shows data collected by sensors while a patient is being operated on. Processing the thousands of datapoints collected by these devices every second is fascinating.

There is another challenge: operating rooms need to be entirely sterile. There can be no keyboards, no mice, or any other physical input devices in there. Voice assistants are too unreliable for this scenario. If you ever struggled to set a timer through Alexa, you don’t want to mess with her while operating on a living person. Instead, they have a second person remote control the software from another room. The surgeon sees the software on a second display and tells the “controller” what buttons to click. It might not be efficient, but it’s effective.

This is an extreme case of accessibility, which is not just about giving access to blind users. Everybody can have limited access sometimes. You don’t need to lose an arm to not be able to use both hands. You could carry a baby on one arm, or temporarily have it in a cast because of an accident. Regardless of what our products do, accessibility cannot be an afterthought. To help you get started, check out these excellent guidelines:

Accessiblity posters by the UK Home Office

– Dom

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A Lego knight about to be stepped on.
#68December 23, 2020

Running a static site saved me from getting hacked

When I looked at my site’s analytics for the first time in forever, I found that someone ran a script against it to find known vulnerabilities.

Footprints in the sand.
#2September 18, 2019

Do Not Track, maybe

To opt out of tracking scripts on websites, you can set the “Do Not Track”-setting in your browser. Unfortunately, websites are not required to honor it.

A bottle of glitter that has toppled over and spilled glitter everywhere.
#53September 9, 2020

We’re skipping our shiny features

“Being busy” is not a good measure of progress. By focusing on what creates real value, we can make good use of our limited time.

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