Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Orkut Diwali theme

Out for a while, and not for long is the Orkut Diwali theme. Take a look and let me know what you think...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

World Usability Day follow up

As you can imagine from the lack of posts for the last couple of weeks, it has been a busy time for me both in terms of work and all the arrangements behind WUD. The event went of quite well and I don't want to repeat what has already been said, so I will just present three perspectives on the event.

Sarit Arora, one of the organizers
MP Ranjan, one of the speakers
Saurabh one of the attendees

I had a great time being part of the organizing of the event, I must say...

Monday, October 15, 2007

World Usability Day

World Usability Day was founded to ensure that the services and products important to life are easier to access and simpler to use. WUD focuses on raising awareness and visibility of usability and user centered design and is organized every year by volunteers and local event coordinators from around the world.

Whether usability professionals or just enthusiastic (or frustrated) users, each participant makes a contribution to "making life easy".

Usability and its Impact in Making Better Public Services– Bangalore, November 05, 2007


On Nov 5, 2007, World Usability Day will be hosted at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The event is being organized and supported by UPA Bangalore, CHI Bangalore, leading usability companies, IISC Bangalore and usability enthusiasts. The event will include designers, technologists, business professionals, students and is open to public.

WUD Bangalore 2007 will focus on applying ‘usability’ and ‘design’ thinking to making life easier and more usable for the common man (us!) in India. Among other areas the event will focus on Healthcare, Education, and Government Services and other public services and utilities that touch our lives everyday. It will include how Information and Communication Technologies and services can make this happen.

When and Where?
Date: Monday, 05 November, 2007, Time: 4.00 pm to 7.30 pm
Venue: Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

How to register and participate
Register directly here

( Wiki Password: usability )

Monday, October 08, 2007

Too many web apps?

Don't believe it yet, take a look at Simple Spark

Sunday, September 16, 2007

dCamp Bangalore

dCamp Bangalore just got over and it was great to see 75 participants take part in the first ever design un-conference in this parts of the world. I gave a short presentation which is up on slideshare, here:

Sunday, September 09, 2007

What is the answer to life, the universe and everything?

Believe it or not, Google Calculator one box knows the answer. As also it does for mundane answers like what is the current exchange rate for the dollar in India

Monday, August 20, 2007

Official Google Blog: Google Labs India

Google Labs India has launched two products, namely the Indic On-screen Keyboard and Indic Transliteration. Google would like to know what you think of this early stage products, so drop a note here. Personally I would also like to know what you think, do leave a comment with your thoughts :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

16 data visualization tools

From navigating the Web in entirely new ways to seeing where in the world twitters are coming from, data visualization tools are changing the way we view content. Mashable found the following 16 apps both visually stunning and delightfully useful.

Bloomberg Re-design

What if the sacred Bloomberg Terminals underwent a re-design? This portfolio.com article explores the possibility, along with three re-design exercises by some top design companies.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

NY Times class us 'Technology's Untanglers'

According to this article (requires signup):

"Sometimes there is a huge disconnect between the people who make a product and the people who use it. The creator of a Web site may assume too much knowledge on the part of users, leading to confusion. Software designers may not anticipate user behavior that can unintentionally destroy an entire database. Manufacturers can make equipment that inadvertently increases the likelihood of repetitive stress injuries. Enter the usability professional, whose work has recently developed into a solid career track, driven mostly by advancements in technology."

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Evolution of apple product design

A chart showing all of Apple products right from Apple 1 to the iPhone...

http://tofslie.com/work/apple_evolution.jpg

Tufte on Jaegerman

Here's what Tufte has to say:


Megan Jaegerman produced some of the best news graphics ever while working at The New York Times from 1990 to 1998. Her work is smart, finely detailed, elegant, witty, inventive, informative. A fierce researcher and reporter, she writes gracefully and precisely. Megan has the soul of a news reporter, who happens to use graphs, tables, and illustrations--as well as words--to explain the news. Her best work is the best work in news graphics.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Tog on iPhone

Tog seems to like the iPhone going by this review...

Pioneering a User Experience Process

A good post by Amy Hillman on B&A:

"Creating a User Experience (UX) process can be a very rewarding journey; it can also be a nightmare if approached from the wrong angle. Initiating a culture-shift, overhauling existing processes, evangelizing, strategizing, and educating is an enormous undertaking. Often it’s a lonely path the UX advocate walks, especially if you are the only one who is driving that change from within the company. But that path is ripe with opportunities to improve your company’s product creation process, as well as the product itself."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Human-to-Human design

Help your audience fall in love with you by moving beyond human-to-computer interfaces and embracing human-to-human design says Sharon Lee at A List Apart...

Picasa on the phone and Geo Coded Photos

Sure Flickr already had it, but it is good to see Picasa also do geo-coded photos and it's quite simple drag and drop on to the map. I also liked the mobile feature... here's the full deal on the official blog...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The other side of surface computing.

This youtube video shows the part of your life that will be affected by the Surface computer, that the demo did not address. Quite funny...


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What do do when a VC says 'no'

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My ISPis blocking blogspot...

I'm not sure why Reliance in Bangalore is blocking access to blogspot.com and all sub-domains. Anybody else in Bangalore experienced this?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Interviews from the LA IA Summit

Christina Wodtke traveled with microphone to the IA Summit in Las Vegas this year and sat down with some of the most interesting and accomplished information archictects and designers in all the land. Here is the podcast...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A framework for designers

Jeff Croft write at ALA:

These days, “framework” is quite a buzzword in web development. With JavaScript frameworks like the Yahoo User Interface library, jQuery, and Prototype getting a lot of attention and web application frameworks like Rails and Django getting even more, it seems like everyone is using some kind of framework to build their sites. But what exactly is a framework? And are they only useful to programmers, or can we web designers benefit from the concept, as well?

Everything I Know About Design I Learned from The Sopranos

Last night, after eight years, 86 episodes, and untold quantities of gobbagool, The Sopranos finished its run on HBO. And this is what Michael Bierut has learnt from it... about design :)

How Photoshop was born

Silicon User has the dope on that here...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

omg look who is on facebook...

Michelle Slatalla writes about what it means to be an adult parent 'sneaking' up on their teenage children on Facebook.

"I have reached a curious point in life. Although I feel like the same precocious know-it-all cynic I always was, I suddenly am surrounded by younger precocious know-it-all cynics whose main purpose appears to be to remind me that I’ve lost my edge."


I've heard similar anecdotes from people I know.

A time-line of acquisitions by Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft

Very interesting time-line of all acquisitions by Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft in the past few years. Quite evidently the pace has picked up in the last couple of years. It would have been interesting to see the size of the acquisition as well, maybe each of the bubbles could vary in size based on the $s paid for it... None the less, this is quite interesting in itself...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Google for recipes

Well here are some Google Recipes straight of the blog. I'm going to try that hummus recipe, it looks really cool...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Interview with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates

Here's the link to the interview (split into smaller clips) with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates from the 'D: All Things Digital' conference.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Gears

So Google announced Gears and how Google Reader is using the technology to make you blog feeds available offline...

In related posts JD talks about how Gears will integrate with Appolo, and Nicholas Carr compares Google to the Reuters of the early 1800s...

Bill Buxton interview podcast

Jon Udell has a podcast of his interview with Bill Buxton, where Bill talks about his new book, Sketching User Experience. There is a blog post on his blog about this as well...


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

IXDA.Beta

The Interaction Design Association has launched a beta version of its new site and it does look quite nice. The new site will allow a significantly better experience for the community, including tagging of content, customized RSS feeds, browsing by topics and the ability to share information about yourself with the community...

How popular web applications handle scaling

Peter Van Dijck has a collection of presentations on how some of the popular web applications handle scaling...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Attach videos, large format photos, anything... email... and it works...

From the Google blog...

It can be frustrating to find out that the photos you're trying to share, or the presentations you're trying to send at the last minute, are too large for your email's attachment limit. Some of you have pointed out that we recently increased the allowable attachment size in Gmail from 10MB to 20MB. We think the higher limit will help make the storage in your Gmail account a little more useful. So the next time you've got to send a PDF that's a bit on the larger side, relax. You've got some more room to spare.


I just got an 18 MB attachment today, and that was cool...

The final days of Google

Robert X. Cringley has an interesting essay on what could spell Google's demise...

Back in the 1990s Bill Gates said the company that would eventually beat Microsoft probably had yet to be founded, by which he meant that Microsoft was in such a strong position that only something truly disruptive -- a whole new business -- would have a chance to unseat Redmond. Some people think the company Bill was describing back then might be Google. I don't know if that's the case or not, but it leads me to ask this question: If Google, itself, is to be eventually beaten by some other company, does THAT company yet exist? I don't think so. But unlike the scenario envisioned by Gates, I have a pretty good idea where we'll find the founders of that Google-beating start-up. I think they are working right now at Google.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Riya Bangalore closes shop

Munjal posts about his decision to shut down the Bangalore office in favor of moving all development to the Bay Area...

Do you think Bangalore is getting that expensive?

This was insane


This video features the Pelican track 'GW' from Australasia as its soundtrack. The images in the video are a collage of footage from 1960 about Joseph Kittinger, a man who in that year took a giant helium balloon up to 102,800 feet and then jumped, setting records for highest ascent, highest jump, longest freefall and fastest fall.

What if he had missed the earth? :)

Monday, May 21, 2007

MS Popfly

Popfly is the fun, easy way to build and share mashups, gadgets, Web pages, and applications. Popfly consists of two parts:

1. Popfly Creator is a set of online visual tools for building Web pages and mashups.

2. Space is an online community of creators where you can host, share, rate, comment and even remix creations from other Popfly users.

You need to register for this right now, and though I have not been able to access it yet, this seems to be a way that MS hopes to popularize SilverLight

Friday, May 18, 2007

Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards '07

The C-H National Design Awards '07 were announced and not surprisingly, Jonathan Ive was on the list of winners. And so was Adobe.

Picasa Flash Slide Shows

Picasa has introduced a new photo sharing feature that allows you to embed a slide-show on your site. Here's one from my collection...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Design Helps H.P. Profit More on PCs

NY Times:

HP's effort to transform its personal computers from low-margin commodities into more stylish devices has started to pay off. As shown by the company’s fiscal second-quarter earnings, announced Wednesday afternoon, a new PC strategy has become a major driver of growth. Revenue increased 12.7 percent from the period a year earlier, to $25.5 billion, and the PC division was an important factor...

Amazon to sell DRM free music

As per this NY Times article, Amazon.com, the biggest online seller of CDs, is joining the movement against copy-protection software for digital music. It plans to sell songs that can be freely copied to any computer, cellphone or music player, including the iPod from Apple.

This is a great move and coming from Amazon, we should see some good competition to the Apple.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Of purple cows and cherry red washers

Jakie Huba has an interesting post about LG's new cherry red washing machines, and how they stand out. This seems to be the case of a purple cow at work...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Secret of Apple Design

Here is the inside story of why Apple's industrial-design machine has been so successful.

Quote:

"To whatever degree Apple can be said to make products with a distinctive genetic code, they can also be said to have inherited most of their traits from a single parent: founder Steve Jobs..."

Friday, May 04, 2007

Testing mail to blog.

Been a while since I have written a post, so thought I might as well try something new today. Just checking to are how the mail to blog feature works.

Friday, April 13, 2007

अब ब्लॉगर हिंदी में।

अब ब्लॉगर हिंदी में। Blogger has introduced Hindi Transliteration. The only problem here is that if you do not have complex script rendering installed, Firefox is unable to display the Hindi characters properly. But this is so cool now I can type in Hindi, but hey can I read? :)

अलविदा।

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Do the dabbawalla know their customers?

Seth says the dabbawallas know their customer well, I'm not sure if they know the customers of if they know the locality they operate in. That is one of the reasons they do not have a rotation policy. Need to check this out, will find out and get back...

Friday, March 30, 2007

Driving directions from New York to Dublin

It takes only 29 days and 19 hours according to this map... (includes a real cold swim...)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Stanford magazine on Tufte

This Stanford Magazine article on Edward Tufte makes interesting read...

Jolt awards 2007

Here are a list of finalists and winners...

Are these awards really the Oscars of the Software industry?

:)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Eric Schmidt's interview

A couple of Stanford students have an interview of Eric Schmidt up here...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Cricket scores on Google

If you're part of the Cricket playing nations and wish to find out what the latest Worldcup scores are, just search on Google...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Krish Blogs

Krish Srikkanth has his cricket blog up at http://www.worldcupwithkrish.blogspot.com/ which makes a good read, also check out this promo below...


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Microsoft buys TellMe

Here's the deal...

According to the article:

Analysts predicted people would eventually use voice-driven searches on the internet, rather than typing into search engines. Mobile phone based internet search would be an obvious application they added. Software such as Microsoft Office does have basic voice recognition facilities but the deal would "bolster" the firm's capabilities said Microsoft business division president Jeff Raikes.
This is a very interesting acquisition, and a sign of things to come...

Google talk gadget in Flash


The Carrs have been working on this for a while and they have finally released it. Here's the blog post that gives you the details. Also if you're logged in you'll see the embedded version of the gadget below...



Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Nice presenation on Web Typography

Ever asked yourself why web typography sucks? Here's the answer…

By the way, that is the first time I used a real ellipsis.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Cricket fever




So over the last few weeks, we've been down with Cricket fever, and that was one of the other reason for sparseness of posts here. But there is something to show for the time that we were down with fever, check out:

http://www.google.co.in/cricket

Monday, March 12, 2007

EyePoint

Now that was a a rather long absence from blogging and after my trip I got a bit caught up in work...

Now, this is something interesting that caught my eye, rather literally. EyePoint is a project by Manu Kumar, Andreas Paepcke and Terry Winograd at Stanford which uses the user's gaze to augment mouse based interactions. This is something I have found wanting especially when working with design tools on a multi-monitor setup. I usually have the screen set on one screen and the tools on the other and having to move from screen to other does take a long time, if the system were to use my gaze to make predictive cursor movement.

You can check out the website which has a YouTube video on it, and also read the paper on it...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Low frequency

I'm traveling for the next few weeks, and posting frequency might be low...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Dinner with Bill Buxton

Bill Buxton was here in Bangalore as part of Techvista 2007, and the kind folks at MSR Bangalore had arranged for a dinner meeting with him for the design community in Bangalore. It was an interesting set of discussions that ranged from music to iPhone and everything in between. A very nice event and it was a pleasure to hear Bill talk on a wide variety of subjects including his collection of pens both digital and otherwise. Ken Perlin was at the dinner as well and for those of you are not aware of his work on procedural animation, it may make sense to check out this site (apparently this is based on his research on a former girlfriend).

By the way, Bill his releasing his book (mostly to be unveiled at SIG-CHI) and Dave has some notes up here...

PS: Muthu has an post on his blog about the event...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Friday, January 19, 2007

MS Firefox 2007

It's better now... like seriously...

Somebody is having a lot of fun here, and not sure how long the prank will last before the site gets taken off... enjoy it while you can...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Tog on iPhone

Tog analyzes the iPhone.

Kawasaki's promoting Linkedin

Or should I say evangelizing, as that is the what Guy Kawasaki is best at. The last two posts (1 & 2) have been about using Linkedin. By the way, Linkedin added a new feature where you can look for answers to your questions, it's pretty neat...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Wikiseek Open Beta Is Live

Wikiseek is a search engine that indexes only Wikipedia links. Created by SearchMe, and it is an interesting (if limited) alternative to Google. According to the schpeel:

1. Wikiseek searches Wikipedia, and the "external links" of Wikipedia
articles. These are considered authoritative Internet sources. This means
that the search results are only as comprehensive as Wikipedia. Wikiseek is
NOT a search engine of the entire World Wide Web.

2. The current index is not dynamically updated. Extremely new content at
Wikipedia will not be reflected in our index.

3. We are testing an 8-bit character set version of the software. This means
that extended international characters will not be displayed. Ultimately,
Wikiseek will support international character sets.

Techcrunch has some update on it as well...

What does it take to be a design manager?

Erin Malone has a great post on design management and what it takes to be one. These are more practical points that she brings to the fore, and gives pointers to people aspiring to be one, maybe a follow up on some of the nuances of design management would be nice...

PS: You should also read Christina Wodtke on the possible choices you have...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A periodic table of visualization methods

A rather interesting visualization of the various visualization techniques. Makes a good reference page...

Apple introduces iPhone, Apple TV

The whole blogosphere is abuzz with the Macworld Keynote (video here) where Steve Jobs announced the much awaited iPhone (name still debated) and Apple TV (or is it iTV?)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Microsoft is using a fairy tale to promote office

This comic fairy tale takes you through the improvements in Microsoft's new Office interface.

Your reading trends

If you use Google Reader for reading your blog feeds, then this is a nifty addition to the already cool set of features...

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Easy7 Bangalore

Yesterday, I was at Easy 7, India's 7th Annual National Conference on Advanced User Interface Practices, at The Leela Palace in Bangalore. A nice, compact conference that featured four speakers speaking on six topics. Surya Vanka from Microsoft was speaking on Design innovation and innovation culture, Sarah Bloomer, touched up on UI tools and about converting research into design, Bill Scott of Yahoo! touched upon AJAX UI patterns, while Jeremy Ashley spoke on selling design within the organization. The topics were interesting but somehow there was a feeling the speakers had to hurry things up as the time alloted for each presentation seemed limited. But the effort on CHI South India's part was quite good, and here's looking forwared to Easy8.

PS: Bill Scott has an update on the event and also a link to his talk presentations

Thursday, January 04, 2007

One laptop per blogger

On the lines of the One Laptop Per Child project, Microsoft has instituted the One Laptop Per Blogger project. :) Old news, I know, but still worth posting...