On Coronavirus

How to Calmly Navigate through the Storm

Presented by Mark Lupton from Amplify.

This month (Thursday, March 26th) we're going to meet, virtually, to discuss Coronavirus and how to calmly navigate through the storm.

Let's turn our focus from the headlines to clear actions.

We've gathered practical insights from successful owners and industry leaders in digital marketing, inventory management, web development, people management, HR, and finance.

And we’ll discuss a framework for building a resilient business for the future (we navigate many types of storms, this is not the first and won't be the last).

This will be our first time hosting a virtual event -- RSVP as usual, and we will message all attendees with event login details.

As always, our meetups are working sessions so bring lots of questions (please ask in advance too). We'll have Shopify Experts and Partners to answer questions and follow up.

RSVP here: https://www.meetup.com/Austin-Shopify-Meetup/events/269073934


Some things to click on this month:

The Metropolitan Opera is streaming their operas free this month. And, like, it’s incredible. I’m watching Carmen right now. And there’s these marching urchins and then all these women emerge from a hole in the middle of the stage and then this Queen (it’s gotta be Carmen, right?) tries to steal a soldier’s sidearm. That’s only in the first 15 minutes. The show is almost 3 hours!

To help flatten the curve, these memes are now cancelled.

Best handwashing “song” I’ve seen: Princess Leia’s hologram speech (Twitter).

Subpar parks. Amber Share made posters from 1-star reviews of National Parks. The posters are gorgeous and she found the absolute best reviews too.

Wildsam’s newest field guide: Texas. Everything from Wildsam is perfect. …if it’s not too painful to plan a roadtrip from Quarantine.

Shopify asked on Twitter for pictures of home offices for isolation inspo and the responses did not disappoint, especially Victoria Wood’s sailboat cabin.

And the best explanation of why #stayhome is so powerful: How to “flatten the curve” from the Washington Post.


Quick note on sponsorship…

We don't take any money, and we're not looking to. So any speakers we present and any links we share are all selected because we think they'll be helpful. That's all, thanks :)

Conversation on Accessibility

Austin Shopify Meetup February 2020

This month (Thursday, February 27th) we're starting a conversation on Accessibility for Shopify stores.

There's a lot to talk about, but we'll start with why it matters (it’s the right thing and you don’t want to get sued), first steps (start fixing your site), and next steps.

Between now and the 27th, I recommend reading this newsletter post by accessibility consultant and attorney Kris Rivenburgh: https://mailchi.mp/1a7bf9cca102/50000-ada-lawsuit-like-its-nothing. Then, plug your site into this evaluation tool: https://wave.webaim.org.

All our meetups are working sessions so bring lots of questions (please ask in advance too) and your laptops. We'll have Shopify Experts and Partners to answer questions and follow up.

We'll also have drinks and snacks :)

Thursday, February 27th, from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at MELD Coworking.

RSVP on Meetup.

And also, check out the Austin Accessibility and Inclusive Design Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/a11yATX.


Some things to click on this month:

Going forward in 2020 I’m trying to develop themes with cleaner, faster code, but also code that’s more respectful of the visitor. That is, I’m trying to develop with greater consideration for privacy and consent. These words don’t show up in too many RFPs so it’s encouraging when folks like Basecamp offer a good example:

DHH@dhh
Starting out 2020 strong: We just removed the final third-party tracker from
basecamp.com. All analysis is now done in-house. Thanks @AdamStddrd ❤️👏b

These sculpture installations from Cédric Le Borgne, especially his jellyfish.

Two quick geekout clicks: New CSS for Styling Underlines on the Web and Pure CSS Avatar.

This podcast on the history of the space race from the Washington Post: Moonrise. The podcast is fantastic (so is her earlier podcast Presidential), but the website has this great interaction/visualization. Just go there and click the “Let’s get started button.”

And two quick book recommendations: Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language and Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men (both are available as an audiobook).


Quick note on sponsorship...

We only have one sponsor, MELD Coworking, for our venue (they're great by the way). We don't take any money, and we're not looking to. So, any speakers we present and any links we share, are all selected because we think they'll be helpful. That's all, thanks :)

Shop accessibility

We’re taking a break for the holidays and we’ll meetup again in January. In the meantime, I wanted to share some of what I’ve been learning about accessibility and also a promotion for coworking at MELD.


MELD Coworking (https://meldcoworking.com) hosts our meetups and some of our memebers work there as well. It’s a great spot to get work done, it’s centrally located, has fast wifi, meeting rooms, coffee and snacks… all the coworking amenities. But I like it because it’s friendly, and because it’s classic Austin scale — more KUTX than the Austonian. It’s not wework-y or cbd-scooter-crypto-disrupt-ipo-y; it’s totally chill and comfy.

If you’re looking for a desk or office out of the house, with the energy of other nice and creative people, book a tour (https://meldcoworking.com/book-a-tour) and mention the promo “Shopify” for 20% off.


Recent lawsuits (like the one with Domino's) applying the ADA to websites have renewed interest in website accessibility. The laws haven't changed. The ADA isn't new, nor is applying it to the web. But recent case law has made it easier to sue online merchants with inaccessible sites (like, really easy). So, obviously, we all need to fix our sites and our clients’ sites. But not just to avoid lawsuits.

Accessible sites are easier for everyone to use. Visitors who are permanently disabled (blind), temporarily disabled (cataracts), situationally disabled (distracted driver) *all* benefit from sites designed and built for accessibility. And it's also typically better for SEO, development troubleshooting, and users on older browsers or with certain features turned off. Henry Neves-Charge has a great Medium article explaining how inclusive design serves all site users.

Molly Burke's YouTube videos are a blessing for merchants and developers who want to understand how blind customers are using their sites. I'd start with How I Shop Online Blind *Live Footage* (Custom Converse Fail) (YouTube). And her overall explanations of how she uses technology really bring accessibility out of ARIA labels and into real life: How I Use Technology As A Blind Person, Pt 2 (YouTube).

Kris Rivenburgh is a Texas attorney and website accessibility consultant. He has a lot of good Medium articles. I'd start with The 2019 Guide to Website Accessibility (for Lawsuit and Demand Letter Prevention (Medium).

And for developers, Sara Soueidan gave an amazing primer/overview/starter on Applied Accessibility at SmashingConf NYC 2019 (Vimeo).

And, adjacent to website accessibility:

I hope these examples serve as inspiration for the experiences we can create and the environments we can promote as merchants, designers, and developers. It’s unthinkable today to make non-mobile responsive sites. We should have that same attitude when it comes to accessibility.

Beyond prudence and profitability, beyond kindness and doing the right thing, designing for accessibility can just be wonderful. Let’s talk more about it at future meetups.

Thanks!

-Zak

Wholesale on Shopify

Austin Shopify Meetup October 2019

This month (Thursday, October 24th) we're talking about selling wholesale on Shopify. There's different approaches depending on your business' requirements (like, do you track inventory, do you have different tiers of wholesale customers, do you offer payment terms, etc.). So, we'll explore those requirements and the approaches (like a separate wholesale store, automatic discounts, wholesale variants, etc.). And we'll also cover lots of the additional details like order and item minimums, discount exclusions, taxes, sign-up forms...

All our meetups are working sessions so bring lots of questions (please ask in advance too) and your laptops. We'll have multiple Shopify Experts and Partners to answer questions and follow up.

We'll also have drinks and snacks :)

Thursday, October 24th from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at MELD Coworking.

We'll have snacks and drinks.

RSVP on Meetup.



Some things to click on this month:

Just read "Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone" by local ATX author Juli Berwald. The whole book is amazing (I personally am terrified/enthralled by jellyfish), but my favorite parts were when she includes her own life alongside the science, how she talks about balancing family with journalism and research. I'm a sucker for comparing the amino acids of jellyfish toxin, but it was also the stories of figuring out how to pay for research trips and explaining her passion to her own children that kept me turning pages -- the full lives behind all this incredible information.

And the javascript accompaniment to her book, Ocean current: https://codepen.io/Gthibaud/pen/qMNYRJ.

"Austin is a small city that gets a lot of attention, but it can only really be credited with one taco, and that’s the migas taco..." Great New Yorker interview with Texas Monthly's new Taco Editor. Bonus video: "Kombucha Girl" doing British people eating Mexican food.

Web dev merit badges. Personally, I think we should have merit badges for just about everything: standing up on a surfboard, making a roux, remembering your reusable grocery bags, getting a hug right with a person of significant height difference. Seriously considering ATX Shopify Meetup merit badge sashes -- each month we can show off ones that we've earned.

Texan sculptor Robert Benavides' Hieronymus Bosch Piñatas. These are incredible. I mean, if you cracked one open, would you get pulled inside? What would you even swing at one of these? A scepter? And what could you possibly fill it with? Secrets? The antidote?


Quick note on sponsorship...

We only have one sponsor, MELD Coworking, for our venue (they're great by the way). We don't take any money, and we're not looking to. So, any speakers we present and any links we share, are all selected because we think they'll be helpful. That's all, thanks :)

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