Sally Shepard


iOS Developer, Accessibility Consultant & Hardware Hacker

Sally Shepard is an iOS developer, accessibility consultant and hardware hacker who has worked on a wide variety of award winning apps. She previously worked at Dennis Publishing as Head of App Development, working on some of the top Newsstand apps. Before the iPhone, she studied audio engineering, a field which combined her love of music and tinkering with expensive hardware.

YOW! Connected 2015 Melbourne

Implementing Inclusive Interfaces


As mobile developers, accessibility often gets pushed aside. For people with disabilities, the communication tools we take for granted are often denied to them. I want to talk about ways of building new interfaces to enable inclusivity and expand peoples understanding of the complex landscape of users with accessibility needs.

It’s obviously not easy to make mobile apps accessible – otherwise more apps would be. Over the past few years, apps have become more complex and accessibility has suffered.

Through research, user testing and experimentation, I’ve found ways to speed up the process of making a mobile app accessible.

For the first part of the talk, I would like to cover understanding the complex landscape of users, and the tools that Apple provide developers to enable these users to use their devices. This would include a few short demos of different aspects of accessibility features available on iOS – mostly VoiceOver and Switch Control.

The second part of the talk would focus on ways of improving accessibility UX and how to quickly and effectively implement it in mobile apps. The talk would be helpful for any mobile app developers regardless of platform, but the code examples and demos would be given on iOS.

The Internet of Things for Cats


What could wearables for cats be? I’ve been working on wearables that aim to improve feline fitness and overall happiness. The system is made up of a smart collar and smart toys.

The talk will cover:

  • Research involved: hardware, cat psychology and IoT
  • Prototyped the different parts of the wearables at different stages
  • Calculating an algorithm for cat steps
  • User testing with cats

I would like to challenge attendees to think of new directions for where to take the internet of things. This talk will empower attendees to pursue IoT projects that they otherwise would have been scared off of, through showing them how to simply and effectively prototype and carry out user testing.