Stark today announced the launch of a private beta for its Stark for Mac program, which simplifies accessibility compliance to make products more inclusive while allowing everyone engaged in a project to participate seamlessly. Companies can send their design files to Stark’s program, which then detects and recommends accessibility improvements. Cat Noone and her team founded Stark in 2017 after realizing that there was no simple way for designers to ensure that their work was accessible and inclusive.
Stark’s integrated plug-ins for tools like Adobe XD, Figma, Sketch, and Google Chrome, which give checks and suggestions to ensure that visual materials fulfill accessibility criteria for visually impaired persons, have now been used by over 500,000 individuals.
Noone told TechCrunch, “We started with the plugins, and they’re still a terrific method of increasing awareness by revealing issues that are happening in your product.” “However, they don’t solve your accessibility problems in a way that grows or assures that everyone is involved in the product.”
However, according to Noone, the Stark for Mac program will “supercharge accessibility” making it even easier to solve broad issues across large swathes of design files. For example, if Twitter changed its font (as it did recently, igniting a debate about the importance of personalization in accessible design), the designers would have to alter the typeface on hundreds of different panels within the app. Stark, on the other hand, helps the process go considerably more quickly.
“What Stark does is it lets you to take that proposed modification, open up the design file, make the change, and sync it in any instance where the issue occurs,” Noone explained. “At that point, you’ve fixed not just this one panel, but your entire design system, including every screen where this instance appears. That’s huge since it absolutely eliminates your design development time, and our goal is to reduce your time to compliance while also educate you on why this was fixed.”
Since last year, when Stark raised $1.5 million in initial funding, no one has claimed that the product can be the Grammarly of accessible design, working for both consumers and businesses. Microsoft, Pfizer, Instagram, and ESPN are among Stark’s current customers, despite the fact that the company is still not profitable. Stark also maintains a Slack community for people interested in accessible design, as well as the internet’s largest public repository of accessibility resources, according to Noone.
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