Sunday, November 21, 2010

Seesaw water extraction design

This design is simply genius. Will write more in detail later. Here is the link to the article. Ultimate goal of design to extract underground water in remote locations.

Young innovators without HCI degree

I recently came across a article on about the various innovation by young Indian children. I was amazed by thinking and innovation by all the young children. Bear in mind they are some of them are just grade 1 students. Below are the pics of some of the innovations I found really interesting. Please click here for the link to the complete article. Enjoy. Picture courtsey: In the first picture which is Young Ananth from grade 1 in Tamil Nadu state in South India, describes his idea for shoes which can help to vacuum the floor automatically by sucking the dust. Someone has been observing mother as a user group and ideating from childhood :)

Second picture is about grade 6 students from Vasant Valley School( my home town Delhi:)). A cycle which can help to clean roads with the help of two brooms attached to rear wheel of the cycle. As the person rotates the paddle the roads gets cleaned. I think this idea has evolved since Delhi state has big cleaning trucks which do a similar job but use power instead of manual labor. This is purely my understanding, the team may have to come to this idea without having thought/observed the trucks on the road. The last picture is from grade 10 students in Gujrat( a state in West India). It's basically a device to find misplaced objects, quite good observation skills.

These students are not HCI masters or doctorate student. Most of them are still trying to figure out future direction for their life but their thirst of innovation is driven by strong observation skills and improvisation using available means. In terms of software industry we can equate improvisation to computer imaginative skills. Good job by every child who participated in this competition.

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

8pen - New Android keyboard application

Downloaded the first paid application on Android market today - 8pen. I found the concept of re-inventing the keyboard on a mobile device quite interesting considering that's one thing that frustrates me about HTC incredible. My concern as a user is about the learning curve. From this video the learning curve would be a issue, some comments while downloading the app were also concerning learning curve. Interesting thing would be to observe how the user experience would be clashing with this form of innovation. Aspect of user experience in question how the user react to the learning curve associated with innovation. My friend Ray Matsil posted this link on his facebook since he uses facebook as a form of sharing innovative things online. Price for innovation = 1.58$. :)

Elegant presentation

It's been long time since last post. Time itself has been a issue, I will try to blog more. One strategy could be to keep the words less.So here I am, I liked this presentation for the way the message is conveyed and it's association with everyday objects. link

Monday, March 29, 2010

Reflection and Job hunt

Hello ,

Life is busy with job applications, capstone work and regular coursework at the end of the semester. So it must be something important I felt like sharing at 2 in the morning that I decided to write a blog post. Today I am going to talk about the importance of a concept which was taught to us by Marty while designing. This concept has helped me not only as a designer but also as a person( especially as a person looking for jobs :))

Reflections: The word itself means looking at our own actions in past and trying to improve upon it while we are progressing as a designer. For example in design we cannot expect any two projects to have the same outcome, in many aspects. These aspects could be satisfaction of the developers, product managers etc. but for us it's important to look back and see where we made a mistake and try to improve in future design's or projects. This concept was very useful in my present job hunt as I made it a point to have a post-interview analysis and this analysis has made me realize some of the mistakes I have made during the interview process. Importantly I have improved as a prospective candidate and I feel this improvement will be ever lasting even when I end up getting a job. I love this struggle of job search. There are hidden lessons for me as a person in this job hunt. I am planning to post some of the common interview questions I faced during all these interviews once I wind up my interviews probably by end of Spring as I believe it would be helpful for budding UX professionals to know what they can expect from Industry.

Thanks and more verbose posts later. Good night.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Zappos user experience + customer satisfaction= Zappos big hit?


Finally after a long time I had the chance to blog. Not that I was short of topics to blog about but I was certainly short of time to Blog about those topics. I always struggle to see the dividing line between customer satisfaction and user experience. Here is a short personal experience which possibly helped me to understand the difference.

Zappos is considered the amazon of shoes industry. It is know for it's great customer satisfaction and recently I guess it was taken over by amazon for a considerable amount of money. Anyways so I recently was in middle of my second chilly winter here in US and I had to get better shoes this time. I started searching online and found certain good deals but I had heard a lot about Zappos so I thought of spending some extra money and be satisfied that my money was in safe hands and that I would be treated well. Google rating's and customer feedbacks also helped me be double sure I was going in for the right place. Sorry I have to be very thoughtful about the money I spend since I am still looking for a job and finances are not a pretty picture. So I ordered these shoes from Zappos and it turns out that everything was awesome, on-time delivery and delivery was very well packed. The shoes gave my feet some warmth. So last point deserves a pause and I should say shoes gave me warmth initially. After some days I started feeling cold walking around with the shoes, one day I stared at my shoes and there were some cracks and just to remind everyone these shoes are still in their first month. Seeing those cracks I was very upset as despite having done the homework I think I failed and the shoes were no longer giving him a happy feeling which should have been the case with Zappos awesome customer satisfaction. Now I still haven't written to the company as I am literally running around looking for a job starting May and I think it's fine if my feet get cold sometime. Everyone has to struggle and I am fine with mine :). However I felt here was the case of a perfect customer satisfaction which has eventually failed due the bad quality of user experience related to my shoes.

Now how could user experience have made my feet have felt better today, if there was a option on Zappos website which either said the shoes were fit for a particular range of temperature or in particular states which I feel Zappos can get the information from either the manufacturer of shoes i.e. Deer stag in my case or the end customers themselves. This option would have given me a assurance that the shoes I m buying is possibly fit for my place and temperature. I honestly feel this would be helpful as the shoe manufacturer would be aware some conditions in which the shoes would create problems like this. Even if it is not possible by shoe manufacturer this is certainly possible by Zappos asking their customer about their satisfaction with the quality of shoes and if there is a specific manufacturer they find a trend for not having a good quality of shoes they can certainly take up the issue with the shoe manufacturer.

Am I being realistic or unrealistic? Not sure. I honestly feel online retail should go more on user experience. btw I recently liked the one click purchase option on amazon. It is sweetest thing in my life right now.

Hopefully I get time to blog more in this crazy job hunt.

Thanks for reading the post.