Happy New Year 2013.
Download source PSD from DryIcons.
Time we wake up and make India a safe nation for our daughters, sisters, mothers and everyone.
“Ek baar jo maine commitment kar di, fir main apne aap ki bhi nahi sunta”.
Roughly translate as “Once I made a commitment, I don’t even listen to myself”
People familiar with Bollywood cannot ignore this line from the Hindi masala movie Dabangg. And for people alien to the Indian movie industry, it’s doesn’t harm to quote some Bollywood lines, it put the fun factor in design.
So what intrigues me, is it’s unbiased honesty. After all, in the words of Dieter Rams “Good design is honest”. As designers, we spend countless hours staring at our screen, that we start looking at it with prejudice, sometimes ignorant of our own flaws. A well designed layout is like a slow tango of emotion and reasoning, dancing in perfect harmony. It can guide a perturbed mind, which otherwise reveals a conspiracy of heart over mind. Only an honest design can bring that calmness, the order in the house. Beyond the aesthetics, truth prevails taking the avatar of a measurable goal , against the infinite subjectivities there is one singular objective. As simple as DOES IT WORK? Y/N
The importance to sketch wireframe before going digital is often discussed, because it explores the mind sans distractions. In that initial phase of ideation, it doesn’t make sense to be pixel-perfect, often resulting as digital noise, diverging away from the true goal. And without the limitation of the digital tools to slow the train of thoughts, the focus remains sharp.
During my days with an Australian Bank, I was in Melbourne for a while. For one of the bank application, there was a Usability test that involves interview of some external candidates. I sat as an Observer on the other side of the one-way mirror. Not a Usability person but there I discovered one facet of Usability testing – Open Ended Questions, which I re-learn during my HFI CUA training.
“Open-ended interviews” permit the respondent (interviewee) to provide additional information, ask broad questions without a fixed set of answers, and explore paths of questioning which may occur to the interviewer spontaneously during the interview. An open-ended approach allows for an exploratory approach to uncover unexpected information, used especially when the exact issues of interest haven’t been identified yet.
During the course of the interview, I was amazed how much the open-ended questions really digs out, things that we never imagined. Some related to privacy, emotion and some even personal ones. Though Open-Ended questions has it’s own space and limitations in usability testing. It allows users to express themselves and provide important insights on how they process information. And believe me, it takes the minimal cerebral processing to speak the truth.
So closing up, lets pledge to make a commitment to be honest with our design. And remember, in doubt Dabangg the Design!
A few days back the whole tech world ignored Steve Ballmer’s exuberance and stood in awe at the Microsoft Surface launch. In awe, because it something they hadn’t expect, they didn’t know how to react.
To compete with Apple in their own game, Microsoft instead of a spec bump, ramp up their own game – Redefine PC, yes the very PC Apple mocked in their series of ad. So during Surface launch, the spotlight was not on some insanely high resolution screen, processor, RAM or Gorilla glass but instead on a KEYBOARD and a flip KICKSTAND.
So that’s a 3mm TouchCover keyboard and a flip kickstand which flush collapse with the VaporMg casing. And of course, the OS Windows 8 just the bare minimal, a total opposite from the skeuomorphic Apple UI.
Struggling Blackberry might be right, when they say at one point in time, that soft keyboard (or touch keys) are not very good for typing. And accessories makers have already flooded the market with iPad keyboard without much success, just because iPad was never meant to replace THE PC (Personal Computer or Computing). And with Surface, the 3mm TouchCover keyboard is quite an ENABLER, not an accessory.
Microsoft Surface was not the first with keys, Asus Transformer tablet tried the keyboard way but Android just couldn’t lift the morale. Going by great reviews of Windows 8 and it’s user base, this might be Microsoft’s return ticket to lost glory.
In recent times, without the rockstar aurora of Steve Jobs’ reality distortion field, Apple seems to be blurring the thin line between a Mac Air and the Next Gen Mac Pro. Microsoft has taken a leaf from Apple and get both the hardware and software together with Surface.
Yesterday 6/21/2012, when Microsoft announce Windows 8 Phone, many crib that people who’d already bought Windows phone will not be able to upgrade to Windows 8. But what’s noteworthy is, Windows 7 platform was from a bygone era when bellbottoms were in vogue and Bill Gates was not into philanthropy (might be wrong about the philanthropy don’t sue me). And to ramp up the game, Microsoft needed to rethink to survive.
I’m not an Apple hater, actually an admirer and Steve Ballmer didn’t sponsor this blog , thought I would have written longer if they’d sponsored But I like to watch someone take on the mighty Goliath (Apple) in their own game, after all racing improves the breed.
My only wish for Microsoft, is not to launch too many variant and kick the very daylight out of the decision making grey matter, from simple consumer like myself.
Now coming back to the Surface, what remains to be seen is – did Surface only scratch the surface or can Microsoft beat Apple with a keyboard? Butwhoever wins, Design Triumphs!
Steve Jobs 1955-2011
Here’s to the crazy ones.The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things.
They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward. Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people. While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
I’m a Dad again for the second time. Aaron Haobam, my son born Thursday, 28 July 2011. Airi, my daughter, is excited of her younger brother. Me and my wife Khumanleima is so happy to have Aaron.
Today I embrace change with an open arm.
Found this image floating on the net. Please take it with good humor, since most of us endure meeting in our daily work. And in my kind of job, we normally have lots of discussions and think-out-loud sessions. Cheers
RockMelt, another browser in the crowded browser scene. Check it out for yourself if you’re on the people who like social-network integrated browser.
Wishing all visitors prosperity, good health and peace Diwali.
People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. —