Archive for the 'design' Category

things are becoming like people

We look at the things as we do at people.  More so now as things are becoming more alive. Till a thing is dumb (like a rock), we only looked at it from an unemotional /un-human terms. But more and more everything is becoming interactive, alive.

Which means designers should create things that look more like people.  That was my intent in creating a youtube video many years back..

The real question is how do I use this knowledge. –

1. as a hobby, reading and writing blog posts like this.

2. get trained to be hired as a user experience designer.

3. Build and own something with these principles.

I want to find opportunities of the 3rd kind. I don’t want to be an expert in this. I want to create stuff and own while learning and using these principles. My attempt to look at job search is

Is this end of products era ?

Has the world moved from ‘need’ based products,

                                                                                    to ‘desire’ based artifacts,

                                                                                                         to greater ‘experience’ based solutions.

en:conference:speakers:peter_merholz [SHiFT – Social and Human Ideas for Technology]

As the internet and digital networks in general become more ubiquitous, more distributed, and more integrated in our lives, we’re finding that it’s hard to find a “product” that is not also, or even mostly, a service.

ipod is a perfect example for so many business theories (did steve jobs think of all these angles!!). This one states that stand alone products are being overtaken by “solutions”.

def. Product – an independant package of output

Even a old product such as a car, needs other things – gas stations, service stations, roads … to be useful. Therefore the point is not if in this new “design” world product era is ending, rather it is that, for further differentiation / premium pricing, product companies have to own bigger chunk of the new ecosystems.

That is a way to improve the total experience to the end user. Which is  becoming key driver  of  growth.

Are you a "yards” person or a putter (“feets”) person ?

Drivers and Putters map nicely to the Strategic & Product Design roles I described a while back.“

[Strategic Designers] are tremendously adept at visualizing a complete product experience and how it maps to business and user goals. These designers are invaluable during the early stages of product ideation. They help focus product strategy and give teams a vision to drive toward.

[Product] designers excel in the ability to get recurring product updates (that drive toward a long-term goal) out the door quickly and efficiently. They have a passion for a particular product and quickly become domain experts in that product area.”


I want to be a Driver … let the putting be done by mortals ….

BUT what if no one picks up my efforts to putt to deliver the last “10 feet” ?

Design principles for PRODUCTLETS


Once upon a time, we used to buy monolithic products.

You bought a machine(one TV box). But now you buy software.

You had software pre-installed (Microsoft veriety). Now we discover new applications (productlets) everyday.

The proliferation of best of breed productlets, drives the innovations to new heights. College teens and new class of “developers” are becoming innovators.

However these ‘small things’ are creating a clutter at home and on computer. There is no theme. No standards to help keep the the things organized.

Definition : Productlets – Small incremental products or components which are built and distributed by small group of amatuers.

Some design principles for such productlets, that I believe will make them sustainable.
1. Use and forget – I cannot keep 1000s of productlets on my counter / desktop. They need to disappear when not in use.

2. No Install or ownership – Can I just use (pay for it), instead of owning and storing it.

3. Remembers me – While I want to use when needed, it should remember what I did last time (Google doesn’t do this).

4. Adapts to my home environment – A beautiful productlet is not good enough, it should be able to intergrate within my home environment ( with all other productlets).

5. Easy to learn – Does Google need to publish a manual to use their search ? yes for advanced users, there are options, but for average user – just type and enter.

6. Grows smoothly – As one uses it, the productlet interface should mature – no one needs to remember CNTRL-C for copy, it is automatic. So I can use menu for more advanced stuff as I use it more.

Productlets should be more like Car rental service – use it, pay it and forget about it.