Thursday, December 31, 2009

eXperience a Wonderful New Year

Wising you & your family a wonderful new year..2010

Just back from office and bit hungry for some concepts to design a greeting card for you folks! This was bit late night and other side; my friends are calling up to join the New Year Bash! ... Kya Karo...Checked couple of my old photography captures...but i am not convinced...much!!!! So...finally...got an idea...and just play around with the camera and my fingers. And finally tried different lighting / camera settings... But this was awesome..! and made my DAY 01 :)

"Hey! By the way.. I did not reveal you right! what is this "Day 01" and why i am specific..here? ....I am starting a New Innovative Project Initiative from this New Year called "PROJECT 365"... Basically.. i will be capturing ...one photograph every day! ... :) Is it not...Creative & Interesting.. folks!? ...Yes..It is! .. May be lets how far...i can do this.... Now i will be updating in a separate folder called "Project 365" My Flickr pro account. My positive energy say that... I will be posting one unique...rocking! Capture...every day! You can view and comment on each photographs...let’s...keep an eye on this....& please do comment..!

"Project 365" - Day 01

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Phone-O-Scope: Attaching SLR lenses to an iPhone

I've been trying to learn a bit more about the optics involved in mid- to pro-level cameras, and googled around and found this intresting article. Great idea of optical couplers - that is, a system to transmit light from one optical device to another to make an image.


Just to get the inevitable question of 'why' out of the way - well, why not? There are no similar SLR lens to camera phone attaching attempts anywhere else online (not including the mini-lenses you can get as they're not 35mm lenses). The Phone-O-Scope doesn't take especially superb images, and it's a bit clumsy to handle. On the other hand, it's fun to shoot with and produces very analog (almost Holga-like) results. You also get the advantages of SLR lenses - that is, DOF effects, and the wide range of available focal lengths (i.e. macro to telephoto).

There are plenty of interesting designs for cameras floating about, and plenty of nice phones with reasonable optics attached. I'm hoping that this experiment takes the concept of a camera phone to it's illogical conclusion.

Click here to see more details...how to sink SLR lens & Apple Iphone

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wish you MERRY CHRISTMAS


Wish you a Merry Christmas...! Wish you a Merry Christmas...! Merry Christmas...!
In my recent trip to Bangkok we spent some time taking some photographs from The Baiyoke Sky Hotel, rising 88-storeys which is the Thailand’s tallest and Bangkok’s most scenic hotel. The hotel is strategically located in the heart of downtown Bangkok, surrounded by bustling markets and various entertainment attractions.

While enjoying the spectacular view of the colorful city from the artistically built hotel. Went to the Roof Top Bar & Music Lounge on 83rd floor for live entertainment and found this Christmas tree and captured couple of pics to share greet this Christmas with this photograph!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Organized & Managed "1000 Smiles project @ GOA"

1000 Smiles project @ GOA - A great Success!


Goa, The land of Sun, Sea & Sand!


We associate Goa with Beaches, Churches, Temples, Monuments and heritage sites. This is only a part of Goa, its real essence lies in its people. The 1000 portrait project is an attempt to capture & showcase the 1000 unique smiling people of Goa.


After organizing and managing 1000 portraits project hyderabad with my team we got very positive spirit and want to take this project to the national level ...making India Smile. As part of this we have executed in Goa with associating with local goa photographers.


This project is about 10 Hours – 10 Teams – 10 Locations with cameras in Goa and 1000 portraits at the end of the day. As a part of this project we will ask people from different parts of Goa to smile at our humble attempt to capture the true spirit of Goa. Shoot was done on 11th decemeber and exhibition was showcased on 19th & 20th to showcase the same. 


Will update the details later.

My Thailand Trip - Bangkok & Pattayya!

Landed up at Thailand for a vacation with my friends. We had a great time spending our holiday and exploring the beauty of Thailand. Spend 3 days in Pattayya and 4 days in bangkok. Taken tons of pictures around and i dont want to write much and post some pictures.... a "PICTURE" speaks more than "WORDS"
My Thailand TRIP buddy Gang :)
Me & Cishore on a NINJA BIKE :)

Our Deluxe Room @ Ervan Hotel - Pattaya
Alcazar Show @ Pattayya

One shall not miss a chance to see the world-famous Alcazar or Tiffany show. You will be entertained with music, lip-sings, dances and various shows played by many perfectly beautiful female actresses. If you are unaware of, you cannot imagine that these female actresses were actually male from origin!

The Alcazar Show has been delighting audiences from around the world of almost 20 years. Thrilling 1,000,000 with laughter & impressions. You'll experience the magic of Alcazars state of the art computerized lighting system and be dazzled by the effects of its Circle surrounding sound DTS system, but that's only the beginning. Prepared to be entertained in grand style by its 400 staff wonderfully talented artists and entertainers.

The Phettrakul Family is the Founder & Owner of the Alcazar Cabaret, which is located on Pattaya 2nd Road. Originally, it was a small theatre of 350 seats with 40 employees on almost 20 years ago. The floor, stage & technical equipment were rudimentary and in fact the business was not so successful in that early day, however, the family never gave up and continued to improve and upgrade its facilities until Alcazar Cabaret Show became "World Famous"!

Today's Alcazar features a Grand Beautiful Theatre with a capacity of 1,200 seats & 440 employees. With state of art light & sound system featuring the ultra high tech "Circle surround sound DTS system" & the most modern computer technology. Today, the Alcazar Cabaret is "World Class"!.

Alcazar Cabaret of Pattaya is now well known throughout most of the "INTERNATIONAL" in equivalence to both Lido & Moulin Rouge of Paris. But Alcazar is different that Lady-man stages it. Alcazar can successfully blend the art of acting, stage design, costumes & the sequence of the shows so well to be impressed by every one of all ages. So Alcazar is a must to visit for both Local & Foreign Visitors don't miss it ever.

View from Baiyoke Tower

It contains the Baiyoke Sky Hotel, the tallest hotel in Southeast Asia and the third-tallest all-hotel structure in the world, with 673 guest rooms.

IThe building is 304 m (997 ft) tall, or 328 m (1,076 ft) tall if its antenna is included. It has 85 floors, with a public observatory on the 77th floor, a bar called "Roof Top Bar & Music Lounge" on the 83rd floor, and a 360-degree revolving roof deck on the 84th floor. Construction on the building ended in 1997, with the antenna being added two years later, in 1999.

Goldern Buddha Temple - Bangkok

Mother of Buddha 
Huge 50 feet golden idol at Bylakuppe, I believe she is Buddha's mother?

Dancing Dolphin Show @ Bangkok ZOO
This is worth seeing and its awesome!
Paragliding in Pattayya

Finally CELEBRATION @ Bangkok
Nederburg Sparkling Wine @Hotel Grand President Swimming Pool Deck, Bangkok

Monday, December 7, 2009

Designed Posters and Logos for my friends short film "HOMECOMING"

Short Film "HOMECOMING" - By My friend Sekhar
One of my good friend "Chandra Sekhar Singh" who is a banker by profession who has a great heart & love rowards photography. He has experimented a short film and i just contributed some of my skills in desining posters, logos, etc.

We had a preview on 6th Dec 09 @ Prasadz Preview theatre - Hyderabad where 100+ guests are invited. There was a great responce and we all had a heartful satisfaction. This small move is about 30 min and reminded all the viewers about their childhood. Looking this film i was loaded with memories, expressions & feeling... Immediately i went on to stage and shared some of my childhood moments to the audience. Let me share you some films summary , Posters & Some photographs..


Film Summary
In a pursuit to find happiness a talent realizes that he was locked in a box for years, trapped in a fateful coincidence with himself unable to escape the consequence of change he sees himself finally standing in front of the law of happiness which was always probing him to look at it. He finally sees it.

Ram the protagonist is caught in a disappointment with the world around him he seeks no religion nor comfort but happiness from somewhere he only fantasizes to exist, his fate makes him visit his virgin-self by making him sail in an odyssey of his past.

Ram in his early 20's is asked by his dad to complete a small taks, from where fate takes over and puppets him into a journey back in time where he finds himself as a kid, untainted by the world. Which eventually leads him to find a treasure which is grounded for many years by him in his adolescence. By finding this treasure of immense value he breaks the wickerwork around and finds happiness. He realizes that happiness is always around us, it is us who fail to perceive it's presence in every inch of this world.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Do you know how Google and Nike got their names?



Google got its name from googol - the number one followed by 100 zeroes which represents the amount of information the site was expected to cover, and Nike's name come from a Greek goddess, reveals a new book.

The book narrates the weird and wonderful ways some of the world's top firms got their names are revealed in a new book.

While many companies like Sainsbury's or Marks and Spencer are named after real people, others have bizarre beginnings, reports The Sun.

Google is a reworked form of googol, and tyre giant Bridgestone sounds English but is a translation of the founder's surname, Ishibashi - Japanese for stone bridge.

Nike is named after the Greek goddess of victory.

However, computer company Oracle does not have any connection with mythology. Instead it comes from a top secret CIA project that founders Larry Ellison, Ed Oates and Bob Milner were working on before they started the firm.

Ikea is a combination of the initials of founder Ingmar Kamprad and his home, a farm called Elmtaryd in the Swedish town Agunnaryd.

And Aldi is a cross between the Albrecht family who began the firm and the word discount.

How the Internet Enables Intimacy- Worth Seeing this Ted Talk

Stefana Broadbent’s “How the Internet Enables Intimacy”. She presents meaningful commentary on the reality of how internet tools are used in a social, and intimate fashion. And I think her findings might surprise you.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

You are so special to me MOM!

This time Diwali 2009 was so special to me. We got lots of crackers but i was more interested in capturing the fireworks and was busy clicking...wonderful colors and lights :) Captured many pictures, done different photography experiments and played with low light photography. Do you know who is my Model? As usual regular model "MY LOVING MOM" ...!

I really liked the lights in a row. Just looking for some time got an idea to gift something special to my dearest mom. Taken a low light shot in a bulb mode (Low exposure) using a tripod. This came up very well and immediately given for large size print and beautifully framed with silver frame. That's my Diwali gift to my MoM and this thrilled me a lot and this made Diwali...a awesome memory for me...

Check the photograph



Thank You, God, for giving Me the gift of living. In this curious, strange World where all things change And where I can grow to be My best and utmost me. Thank You that I desire Always to mount up higher And be something more Than I have been before, And thank You for my mind That always seeks to find The beautiful and true And be one with You. You are so special to me....My dear MOM!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Design philosophy



Something Interesting...!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Eyetracking: Is It Worth It?


"It is easy to get excited about eyetracking. Seeing where people look while using your Web site, Web application, or software product sounds like an opportunity to get amazing insights into their user experience. But eyetracking is expensive and requires extra effort and specialized knowledge. The heat maps and other visualizations certainly look impressive, but what can you really learn from them? After using eyetracking for the first time, many find that it is not easy to know how to analyze the visualizations and make conclusions from them. Does eyetracking really provide any additional insights you would not have discovered anyway through traditional usability testing? Does the value of eyetracking outweigh its limitations? This article will discuss and answer these questions." (Jim Ross - UXmatters) ...more

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wishing you all Happy Diwali

Diwali or Dīpāvali (Sanskrit: a row of lamps), the most colourful Indian festival, is celebrated on the Kartika Amavasya or New Moon, which falls during October/November. This year it is on the 17th October, 2009.
Diwali as we call it today comes from the Sanskrit word Deepavali meaning garland of lights. There are many legends and important events associated with this highly auspicious day. Hence it is said that any Pooja, mantra japa or stotra recital on this day gives 100 times more benefits. Actually it is a 5 day festival with each day having its own legend, customes and rituals.

Wishing you all a Happy and Safe Diwali .. I will be posting some pics and details how i have celebrated this year..

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

*Condition Apply- How many people understand this?

BAD DESIGN CONTEST, MY SUBMISSION #5 for UMO 2009


Advertisers attract people by creating an attractive advertisements and offers to grab the attention and sell their products. But often gets attracted by the advertisements and always get diverted to other track without reading the small invisible (*Conditions apply) which will be in the bottom which is almost unreadable font.

Most of the people don’t understand what is this (*) means and what would the conditions apply mean.  This is a he problem where always people are always confused and no idea what it really mean until they speak to customer care or read the instructions if any.

USB Ports in the computer is always confusing.

BAD DESIGN CONTEST, MY SUBMISSION #5 for UMO 2009

Always USB ports are big pain points to connect with the desktop or laptops. No idea which side to pin the USB in. Always need to try couple of times to plug it in a correct direction. Most of the time USB ill be in the CPU but CPU can placed any where like below the table, under the table self, self, locked cabin, on the table, etc. It is difficult to connect the USB reaching the CPU most of the times in these cases so it would much better to have a USB connection in the monitor as it is very easily accessible and upfront.

Soft drinks & Beer can lid design is sometimes dangerous and persons need to bend their head to the top along with the can to get the last drops out.

BAD DESIGN CONTEST, MY SUBMISSION #4 for UMO 2009



Design Problem: Beer cans and Soft drink cans are design in way that once you pull the lid handles outer direction, the knob pushes down a specific area and get opened. Most of the times the handle gets break as it’s a light weight metal and the corners are sharp enough to cut the upper lip areas.

 The other problem is that this design is very difficult to satisfy the use case when there is only some amount of liquid in it. The person needs to bend their head and the can totally up then only all the last drops come out of the can.

NO INDICATION WHERE TO TARGET THE JACK UNDER THE CAR AND LIFT THE JACK TO MAKE THE PUNTURE

BAD DESIGN CONTEST, MY SUBMISSION #3 for UMO 2009

Indian roads most often tyres get punctured. Each car has a different placement to target the jack and lift the car. Some cars can be targeted to the side steel rod below the door and for some cars it should be targeted to the tyre rods or just beside the connecting rod. There is no indication or mark below the car where the jack has to be targeted to? This is always a big pain to try different options to point and target the jack and lift the car.

BUS FOOT BOARDS ARE ALWAYS DANGEROUS. DRIVER CANNOT SEE EVERYTHING FROM A SMALL MIRROR.

BAD DESIGN CONTEST, MY SUBMISSION #2 for UMO 2009


In India most of the people use public transport. The Busses will be traveled full most of times people will be hanging on the Bus foot boards. Especially when it comes to the front foot boards it is very dangerous as the type is very next to his leg and he may be pulled into the type if his dress or get slip from the foot board. This is a very bad design as there should be grill or something which might avoid the person to fall into the type.

Always Indian bus stops are always full and crowded with lots of people. IT is very dangerous as the led can easily go into the type or the driver can start the bus and move forward on the peoples legs as he doesn’t have entire visibility from a small mirror.  Most of the time drivers find difficulties in the bus stops.  There should be a grill or something which helps to prevent go under the tyre.

IS CAMERAS NOT DESIGNED FOR LEFT HANDERS? HOW A LEFT HANDER WILL USE?


BAD DESIGN CONTEST, MY SUBMISSION #1 for UMO 2009
IS CAMERAS NOT DESIGNED FOR LEFT HANDERS? HOW A LEFT HANDER WILL USE?

Cameras are designed for the right hander and the click will be in the right and the camera to be holed by the right hand. Cameras predominantly have the hand grip, shutter release, film wind lever and commonly used selection buttons, switches and dials controlled by the right hand, lens controls (where present) tend to be accessible by either hand. When a left-handed person uses a right-handed camera the hand control can be less steady and hence produce camera shake leading to poorer pictures at low shutter speeds.

When cameras were predominantly mechanical or later electro mechanical, it would be difficult and hence expensive to produce a left-handed version of a right-handed camera. Video-cameras also tend to have the hand strap on the right side of the camera. Thus the camera must be held using the right hand, which often leads to a shakeier video being captured.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

AIR INDIA “USER IN EXPERIENCE” Design


Air India online ticket booking experience...nothing worse than this...
Recently, I was looking for fight prices to Bangkok and found Indian Airlines flies from Hyderabad - bangkok from yatra.com

Once i clicked the URL www.inianairlines.in it displayed Air India logos and site branding. Then i thought may be these two companies have merged now. Rechecked the URL but still it showed me www.indianairlines.in. There are 3 sections and each section has button just like a drop down design.

No idea where to click as there is any description. The 3 options are Air India Express, Air India AI Code flights.. (No Idea what this mean).. Air India IC code flights.. (No Idea what this mean.) Tried sometime and it looks like Air India Express is something different service and it has different fleets. Could not flight out difference between AI & IC codes... as there of the links take me to a different websites in a new windows and all of them has its own booking engines.

Ok, finally I thought lets try IC and find out flights for Bangkok.
Here is my booking experience...@ AirIndia .. :)


- The heading says. Book a flight - IC flights... (No idea....What is IC?)
- Multi city link... what it means..? Why is this placed after return...? No idea..!
- More cities link was placed after the cities. I was expecting this might open a other drop down in place and list more cities... but surprisingly it has taken me to other website.. :) We will find similar booking engine and it has few more cities added in the list and again you find a "more cities" link which will open the previous website "IC" in one more window :) What a great workflow..!
- I have selected Hyderabad - Bangkok and selected "Return" radio button and selected dates as Departure: 6 Sept 2009, and Return: 31September 2009. I was looking for the search button and did not find. By mistake I thought "Reset" Button is search and clicked on it. All the fields were reset to current date. I was confused because the reset button was given more priority than the “Book:” by placing this in right. Retyped everything and this time carefully looked into the user interface and realized I need to click on "Book Now" for searching...flights. - Once clicking the "Book Now" button it showed me the same screen, then I clicked 2-3 times but still in the same page. Looked carefully and noticed that there is an error in red color saying "Invalid Departure/Return Date" I thought that there might be no flights available on that day but the fact is that there is no 31st date in September. System doesn’t validate and tell the user about dates being a booking engine. Very sad and bad user experience…ever experienced…!
-By Default Indian Rupees is selected and id don't know why they want Any other currency radio button and a Drop down deactivated - selecting "Australia - AUD" Looks like the designer want to make the interface very busy without any room :)
-Instructions text is very funny; it occupies ~20% real estate and unwanted secondary information.

- All fares are reflected in Indian Rupees.
- Equivalent approximate fares in your chosen currency are also displayed.
- Sale of International Sectors (Ex-India or Return)is now available on our website.


Finally this website has eaten my time and I have decided that let me go back to some private fight booking website and do the booking. I have lost all the good will / credibility about this Air India spending some minutes on their website. I came to a conclusion that if something goes wrong in my shopping cart, I am not sure getting my money back easily...
Tried calling some local agents... at the end of the day :) as I felt they will respond me if I call them and intimate me the status rather than I solely taking risk :)

Summary: For online ticket booking site, search and the booking engine is the heart of the user experience. Too much of information will kill the experience, keep the site as simple as possible and design it more task driven. Have proper validation and give an impression that this site is secured and your money will be safe / secure. Divide the tasks in to primary and secondary and make it simpler to use by providing proper user assistance elements inbuilt in the design. This website needs a serious redesign and need to follow UCD model. Don’t know why Government is putting lot of money in other stuff but why they are not focusing on small things which give revenue to the government and happily diverting the business to the private folks!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

1000 Portraits Project - A great success



1000 Portraits - 10 Photographers - 1 Day - 1 City - HYDERABAD. Whenever we think of any great city, we think of the monuments, the historic places but the real essence lies in its people. The 1000 portrait project is an attempt to both salute and celebrate the people of Hyderabad.
One Day: Sunday 2Nd, August 2009
10 People: Cishore, Sekhar, Vijju, Rebel, Naveen, Ranjeeth, Chaitanya, Suraj, Preethu, Janki, Jusri, Peddu, Charu, Abhi & Kartik
1000 Portraits: www.flickr.com/groups/1000portraits/

We have started the project at Necklace road and we split into 2 groups and we started clicking. We have divided in to three categories for each group. Clickers, Snickers and Flickers. Flickers will flick the people and talk to them and make them smile. Snickers will catch , note down the details of the capture numbers and the contact details. Clickers will do the most easiest thing which is capturing & framing.. :)

We have taken ~2400 portraits in a span of 10 hours in 10 different locations and interacted more that 3000+ people. I personally had an interaction with 1600 people and got an good opportunity to explore and study emotional behaviours, facial expressions, smiles, different communication, etc. I was surprised to see that Hyderabad people are very open minded and most of them has no issues to share their smile and photographs.

Initially we had some difficulties in convincing people but when we explained about the social cause and our profiles people came forward to share their smiles. Overall this is a great experience in my life capturing 1000 portraits in one day. This is done for the first time in ASIA. This was done in UK, USA, Spain in the past and now we the "Hyderabadies" has done it. All the expenditure for this project will be shared by this 10 people just for making "Hyderabad Smile".

A exhibit on will is planned this month end and the venue will be updated shortly. You can view 1000 portraits here:

View all 1000 portraits in Flickr

For more details please visit www.1000portraits.in

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

When to Use Which User Experience Research Methods

Modern day user experience research methods can now answer a wide range of questions. Knowing when to use each method can be understood by mapping them in 3 key dimensions and across typical product development phases.

The field of user experience, is blessed (or cursed) with a very wide range of research methods, ranging from tried-and-true methods such as lab-based usability studies to those that have been more recently developed, such as desirability studies (to measure aesthetic appeal).
You can't use the full set of methods on every project, but most design teams benefit from combining insights from multiple research methods. The key question is what to do when. To better understand when to use which method, it is helpful to realize that they differ along 3 dimensions:
Attitudinal vs. Behavioral
Qualitative vs. Quantitative
Context of Website or Product Use The following chart illustrates where several popular methods appear along these dimensions:


More details...click here http://www.useit.com/alertbox/user-research-methods.html

Comparing UXD Business Models

This manifest need for UX leaders to learn—and share—best practices was the rationale for the authors, Jim Nieters and Garett Dworman, to write and present a CHI 2007 Experience Report on the organizational structure that Jim Nieters created for his UX group at Cisco

[1]. It also motivated us to follow up that presentation with a CHI 2007 Management Special Interest Group (SIG), “Comparing UXD Business Models,” in which participants compared different models of UX organizational design

[2]. Our intent was to share experiences and systematically explore them in the hope that this information will aid companies in structuring their internal UX functions. To this end, we generated SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analyses of four UX business models.

Visit: uxmatters to read the complete article

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Just back from Adventure photography trip

We are just Back from Coorg :)
Recently back from Coorg (Kodagu) adventure photography trip with my photography friends. It was a long weekend trip a(march-27th to 29th) we planned and was a awesome experience and this reminds me for the rest of life.
That’s Coorg for me incomparable scenic beauty, lush green valleys, coffee plantations, teak wood forests & majestic mountain ranges. Add to that a strong, brave martial race of Coorgs (Kodavas) that reveres tradition, has a distinct culture and lives life to its fullest.

Coorg is situated on the Western Ghats of Karnataka in South India. For the adventurous at heart, it is an absolute treat. There are trekking, golfing and angling (Mahaseer too!) options available. Religious trips abound on Hindu and Buddhist circuits. Family getaways can be easily arranged. You can also relax your body and mind with special Ayurvedic massages. Coorg is also as trendy and happening as its close neighbour Bangalore.

But the predominant entity here is nature at its best. Coorg is like the dreamland of the philosopher. If you’re the type who likes to mingle with nature, romance in the mountains, feel the tingle of the cool and gentle breeze, watch leaves flutter in dance-like movements and hear sounds of birds fill the air, then Coorg is just the place for you!
I have of exciting experiences to share with you and will update this shortly.. Till then bye...! Come back again..!

GOOD DESIGN in 'Ten commandments’.

Back in the early 1980s, Dieter Rams was becoming increasingly concerned by the state of the world around him – “an impenetrable confusion of forms, colours and noises.” Aware that he was a significant contributor to that world, he asked himself an important question: is my design good design?
As good design cannot be measured in a finite way he set about expressing the ten most important criteria for what he considered was good design. Subsequently they have become known as the ‘Ten commandments’.
Here they are.
  • Good Design is innovative
  • Good design makes a product useful
  • Good design is aesthetic
  • Good Design helps a product tobe understood
  • Good design is unobtrusive
  • Good design is honest
  • Good design is durable
  • Good design is thorough to the last detail
  • Good design is concerned with the environment
  • Good design is a little design is possible
For more details check : http://www.vitsoe.com/en/gb/about/gooddesign
Vitsœ’s designer Dieter Rams. Photograph by Abisag Tüllmann

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Feel proud to be a UX'er...


Usability Experience Specialist is considered as Top30 careers for 2009
Overview: This profession has a hard time agreeing on a name for itself. It's called, for example, user experience specialist, interface designer, information architect, usability practitioner, user-centered design specialist, and usability manager.

Whatever you call them, their job is to help ensure that products, especially technical ones, are easy and pleasurable to use. How? First, they observe and interview potential users to identify their needs and preferences. They may conduct a task analysis to break down the user experience of a product to its component parts and make suggestions for each. After a prototype is developed, they may watch and interview potential users again and suggest revisions. Usability specialists may work, for example, on voting machines, the next generation iPhone, a medical imaging machine, an athletic shoe production line, a shopping website, or a bricks-and-mortar store.

A potential downside of this career is that shortsighted companies believe they can make products without a specifically trained usability expert, so you may have to spend considerable time justifying your service's value. Another drawback is that you may need to make efforts to avoid being typecast as someone who can help design only one kind of product.
Those concerns are usually dwarfed by the ongoing creativity and the good feeling of continually creating products that are a pleasure to use.

A Day in the Life. Because you're the only usability specialist in your company, you're involved in all stages of the product development process. You might actually never get to participate in all aspects in one day, but here, we'll suspend that bit of reality so you can get a better idea of what the career is like.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Attended User Experience Metrics workshop

Being Effective in HCI Work through User Experience Metrics by Anirudha Joshi at Hyderabad.
Anirudha Joshi is a faculty member in the Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay. He teaches and does research in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) design. He has organized a tutorial on User Experience Metrics (Measuring User Experience) full day training. I have attended this in Hyderabad and it was a great learning. ~25 people were registered for this but we were hardly 10 people who have attended. That is only because it’s a "VALENTINES DAY" (Feb 14th).

During the course, we worked on hands-on sessions calculating some metrics for different products, defining UX goals, etc. We had lot interactive, Q&A, idea sharing, brainstorming, and discussed other UX related topics.
Anirudha finished a round of one-day tutorials on user experience metrics in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai. These tutorials went off smoothly without exception every where. The user experience management (UXM) team of Satyam has provided the venue and local support in Pune, Bangalore,Hyderabad and Chennai.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Free Ride in a POLICE car..!

Free Ride in a POLICE Car "If you Shop Lift" :)
Interesting sign board I have came across in Astoria, Oregon. I just found one store which is closed and there is a sign board "FREE" Ride in a "Police Car" ...If you shop lift. This was very neatly designed and very highlighted words separately. I thought its some great offer and went near by to read this... and went ga gaaaa! “Some small cartooned stars jumping on my head!
This is distributed to all the stores by the Astoria Police Department. :) Great idea! Very interesting..!

By the way, did you notice my reflection on the glass?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Brand vs. Usability


The importance of brand vs. usability ..."Which is more important: brand or usability? Does there have to be a conflict between the two? Today, we'll tackle the subject and try to find a middle ground between form and function. On one hand, best practices enable better usability.

But adhering to them too much stymies innovation and possibly brand differentiation.Does your site represent a strong brand? If not, you've probably built one that looks like every other site on the Web. If your brand doesn't have a strong voice, your site's voice is generic. If you don't have a strong visual brand, users probably can't tell your site from anyone else's. You don't want your company's services and products to become a commonality, but you don't provide enough brand experience to generate any real loyalty.On the other hand, maybe your brand is carefully guarded and has very clear style guides and rules about its look, voice, and feel. In this case, your site has probably eschewed accepted standards of common sites in an effort to make it stand out. If you have a strong offline brand (e.g., luxury brands, highly differentiated retail brands), you may have striven to adapt that offline brand to online. While it may make complete sense to your current customers (who get your brand, voice, and nomenclature), how does this experience work for new customers who aren't brand loyalists?A Strong Brand Equals Loyal CustomersFirst things first: if you want to have loyal customers, you need a strong brand.

Customers are attracted to the things that differentiate you. I spoke at a corporate conference a couple years ago, and Gary Hoover (of Hoover's) was on the panel with me. In a discussion about brand, he mentioned the supermarket test. It's simple: if you're knocked out and wake up in the frozen food section of a supermarket, can you immediately tell which supermarket you're in? In general, the answer is no: all supermarkets look the same.But if you're in a Whole Foods or a Trader Joe's, the answer is yes. Their brands aren't just the signage they use. They're embodied by everything in the store. Mind you, those two companies follow best practices for grocery store layout. But they do it with their own flair and attention to detail; every shelf and aisle reflect their brands."

Monday, February 16, 2009

Will the Real Information Architect Please Stand Up?

Check out this SlideShare Presentation about information architecture.
View more presentations from Gail Leija. (tags: design interaction)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bad Usability Calendar - 2009

NetLife Research has released 2009 version of the bad usability calendar and it’s now available online. Learning by bad examples is often a good way in discussing usability with people that are not hardcore usability people. I’m currently taking few A3 digital prints and want to put on my desk.

I really like the concept of "BAD USABILITY CALENDER". I am collecting all these calendars from past 3-4 years, I think from 2005. You can also see yearly calendar in my desk too... :)
Most of my friends / colleagues ask me "Ranjeeth .. what's this- bad usability?" Why do you like bad usability concepts...? Blaw..Blaw..Blaw..!

Hmmmm.... I realized that people points only different things much.. Also trust me they feel interesting..! and they will also start thinking.. Why are these called "BAD" and "NOT USABLE"
GET YOUR COPY TOO- Download from: Badusability.com

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Google User Experience

Ten principles that contribute to a Googley user experience
  1. Ten principles that contribute to a Googley user experience

  2. Every millisecond counts.
  3. Simplicity is powerful.

  4. Engage beginners and attract experts.

  5. Dare to innovate.
  6. Design for the world.

  7. Plan for today's and tomorrow's business.

  8. Delight the eye without distracting the mind.

  9. Be worthy of people's trust.

  10. Add a human touch.

Google doesn't know everything, and no design is perfect. Google products ask for feedback, and Google acts on that feedback. When practicing these design principles, the Google User Experience team seeks the best possible balance in the time available for each product. Then the cycle of iteration, innovation, and improvement continues.

What the Heck is User Experience Design??!! (And Why Should I Care?)

Some describe it as making things easy and enjoyable to use. Others describe it as all the elements that impact someone’s perception of a product or system. Jesse James Garrett says it’s a lot like going on a great first date.
For those who haven’t heard of it before: You’ll be surprise by how much it impacts your life.
For those who know it well: Believe it or not, the complexity made simple. You’ll finally know what to say in the elevator when someone asks you what you do for a living.
Have a listen to Teresa latest podcast on www.TeaWithTeresa.com.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Designer behind the Obama Logo

Thought I would follow up my two previous posts about Barack Obama's campaign logo by highlighting an interview that Steven Heller of the NY Times had with the designer of the logo, Sol Sender. Turns out, Mr Sender never even met with the actual decision makers during the initial presentation of the logo concepts, that was handled by the design firm that hired him, Mode, a motion design studio in Chicago.

The interview is very informative and interesting, especially where Sol Sender explains the thought process that went into creating the logo:
"When we received the assignment, we immediately read both of Senator Obama’s books. We were struck by the ideas of hope, change and a new perspective on red and blue (not red and blue states, but one country). There was also a strong sense, from the start, that his campaign represented something entirely new in American politics — “a new day,” so to speak."
Read the entire interview here.

Design Research Methods for Experience Design

According to Michael Hawley - There is a trend among some in the UX community to take the U out of UX and refer to our discipline simply as experience design. One reason for this change in terminology is that it lets us talk about a specific target audience in terms that resonate with business stakeholders more than the generic term user—for example, customer experience, patient experience, or member experience. The other reason for using the term experience design rather than user experience design is that it recognizes the fact that most customer interactions are multifaceted and complex and include all aspects of a customer’s interaction with a company or other organizational entity, including its people, services, and products. Customer interactions encompass much more than the usability of a particular user interface.

They include all of the social and emotional consequences of a customer’s interaction with an organization or brand, including trust, motivation, relationships, and value. But if the name of the discipline is evolving and the focus of design is expanding, does that mean the design methods are different? Are traditional usability and user-centered design activities useful for gaining insight into the broader implications of the emotional impacts of a design? Or do we need different approaches? To explore these questions, it is helpful to look at the strengths and weaknesses of two existing alternative design approaches: user-centered design genius design.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Thinking Aloud...!

What is this?
Thinking aloud (Nielsen, 1994), may be the single most valuable usability engineering method. It involves having a end user continuously thinking out loud while using the system.

Purpose
By verbalizing the users thoughts, the test users enable us to understand how they view the system, and this again makes it easier to identify the end users' major misconceptions. By showing how users interpret each individual interface item, THA facilitates a direct understanding of which parts of the dialogue cause the most problems.

Points of Interest
a failure to lend itself well to most types of performance measurement; the different learning style is often perceived as unnatural, distracting and strenuous by the users; non-analytical learners generally feel inhibited; time consuming since briefing the end users is a necessary part of the preparation. Causing users to focus and concentrate is both an advantage and disadvantage since it results in less than natural interactions at times and THA results in being faster due to the users focus.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Logo Interface -Google's "Simplicity vs Usability"


Logo is one of the important element in the webpage which gives an impact. Yes, google branding with emotional design techniques made google much emotionally attached with users. Users love this because its clean and very simple. They always feel fresh and they know that they will get what they want. I saw many people type www.google.com for even checking weather the internet is working or not! Hmm...People love google because of usability / simplicity and performance.

Perhaps the people who praise Google a lot (myself being one of them) are simply using the search engine to do just that—search. When landing on the Yahoo! page, the numerous options are distracting, almost to the point that I forget why I came there in the frist place.
Am I a “good user”, and my mother a “bad user”? No, just different kinds of user. Google works well for me, and not well for my mother. Should Google disappear? I hope not (even though I don’t own Google stock).

“clicks vs. clutter”, i.e. you can have a clean homepage that minimizes clutter, but you might have to clickthrough several levels to get the content you want; or you can have a busy page where all the links are visible out front, but then the information gets obscured by all the clutter. In Google’s case, I think they chose the simple interface because that’s what appealed to Web searchers who were getting sick of all the search portals that (when Google went live) were loading up their homepages with ads, irrelevant content and all kinds of junk. Still, people who make generalizations about Google’s UI being superior because it’s “spare, clean, elegant” forget that this kind of UI design, which is fine for search engines (some search engines), does not necessarily work for other site categories.

Google’s popularity is undoubtly due, to a great extent, to its simplicity of use for searching the web : its interface is cognitivly restful, and we “web addicts” often need some rest !

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Words to inspire user experience designers

Inspire UX - Great quotes!
Good design, when it’s done well, becomes invisible. It’s only when it’s done poorly that we notice it.” - Jared Spool

“I’ve been amazed at how often those outside the discipline of design assume that what designers do is decoration—likely because so much bad design simply is decoration. Good design isn’t. Good design is problem solving.” - The Art & Science of Web Design by Jeffrey Veen

“For businesses to bottle the kind of experiences that rivet minds and run away with hearts, not just one time but over and over, they’ll need to do more than hire designers. They’ll need to be designers. They’ll need to think like designers, feel like designers, work like designers. The narrow-gauge mindset of the past is insufficient for today’s wicked problems. We can no longer play the music as written. Instead, we have to invent a whole new scale.” - Marty Neumeier

“When we blame the user, we teach them that technology is perfect and that the errors are their own. Because technology is hard to use, we are teaching a generation to be afraid of technology. We are teaching a generation to believe in their own stupidity… It’s not the user’s fault.” - Jono DiCarlo

“Most [clients] expect experience design to be a discrete activity, solving all their problems with a single functional specification or a single research study. It must be an ongoing effort, a process of continually learning about users, responding to their behaviors, and evolving the product or service.” - Dan Brown

“Don’t design for everyone. It’s impossible. All you end up doing is designing something that makes everyone unhappy.” - Leisa Reichelt

“If you want to reach the greatest number of users possible, it’s best to write clearly and simply and design your interfaces to be consistent from page to page. For some people, simple usability advice like this is an absolute accessibility need… And anyway, people of all abilities fail tasks that are confusing. Why should we all suffer an interface that proves itself to be unusable?” - Matt May

“Technological advances have always been driven more by a mind-set of ‘I can’ than ‘I should’… Technologists love to cram maximum functionality into their products. That’s ‘I can’ thinking, which is driven by peer competition and market forces… But this approach ignores the far more important question of how the consumer will actually use the device… focus on what we should be doing, not just what we can.” - John Maeda

“It’s always helpful to look outside of the web for your inspiration, to places where you might not at first expect to find a solution. The world is a collage of inspiration, from newspapers, magazine publishing, and advertising to product design, architecture and the fine arts.” - Andy

“Designing a website can be a bit like being a kid and inheriting a sweetshop. It’s easy to get carried away. There are so many choices. A website can be like an attic that never fills up. Space is not the problem. Attention is.” - Gerry McGovern

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