Amul butter character

I came across a japanese character looking remarkably similar to our amul butter characters.


Evil Eye

Many cultures believe in the evil eye. This is the jealous look someone casts upon you when you are happy and successful. And human mind always finds a solution to its problems. Hence there exists warders of evil eye. Objects, symbols and signs which cast evil eye away. I have created a few 32X32 icons which are such symbols. The four are the lemon-chilli from india, the turkish evil eye bead, the arabic hamsa and the italian american cornicello.

You can download the icon pack here. You are free to download and use it, following this attribution – Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.


Linkedin – I don’t know!

Linkedin is designed quite nicely, and doesn’t have many loose ends. But like proofreading, nothing is 100% foolproof. I stumbled on a designers profile who was a freelancer and liked to travel. I wanted to add the user as a connection. Now linkedin puts a great deal of emphasis on trust, and as it says in the footnote:

Important: Only invite people you know well and who know you.

So linkedin wants you to know that person beforehand as a colleague, or a classmate or a friend. But one of the radio buttons is also:

I don’t know ‘the member’

The point to note here is that someone landed on this page because he wanted to add that person to his network. He may not know that person before hand, which will lead to the selecting of the ‘I don’t know ‘member’s name’ option. Then he would proceed to think of a nice personal note, and type it down in the note box. Then when he clicks on the send invitation button, what does he get? This :

A javascript popup message that says that you are not allowed to invite someone you do not know. All the trouble of writing the message could have been saved if the interaction worked the following way. Just as someone selects the ‘don’t know the member’ button, the javascript message should popup. It would look something like the following visual I prototyped. And it would save the user from a small disappointment.

design personal

Aahsome – A quarterly pdf magazine from India

Checkout, a new pdf magazine. Initiated by me, it needs all your support. It works this way – a theme is declared for the next issue and anyone  interested can submit content.  The content could be articles, essays, fiction, photographs, and anything else you can think of. The theme for the first issue is freedom. Think of ‘freedom’ as a many faceted idea. This visual might help you get out of the boundaries of the word. Feel free to drop a line in the comments or mail at aahsomemagATgmailDOTcom .


Gtalk – Disappearing Friends Problem

If you have used Gtalk, then you might have experienced this scenario.

You see a friend who is online and you double click on that friend which opens the chat popup. As soon as you start typing your message, the friend goes offline.

When this happened to me initially it was really disconcerting. Did the friend not want to talk to me? Why did he go offline just as I was about to chat? These thoughts were irrational, because there is no way someone would  know who is about to chat with them. They must stem from the emotional side of the brain. And after a moment some people might even realize this. Another problem caused by this is if I don’t want to send an offline message, and I think a friend is online and type a small message fast and send it. It may go as a offline message. The rational reason is that gtalk takes some time to get updated on status info, and if you act during this window the above mentioned problem occurs. But is there a way to avoid these wasted and frustrating moments? How can the user experience be improved concerning this problem?

The problem here is that Gtalk updates the friends’ information (which includes, offline, busy and not busy status and status message) every once a while. There are two ways of updating such a system. Either the push or the pull. But this problem sure proves one thing the data is not pushed from the google server to our machines. It is our machine which requests the data after every  time “t”, and  updates the information. This “t” could be constant or a variable. Now there might be a reason why they are using pull instead of push, which I have no way of knowing. Is there a way the user experience can be improved keeping the ‘pull’ way of getting data?

Yes there is. You can chat with someone after you double click on that friend. This is an action which can be tracked. Is google tracking this action? Ideally it should and should update the data as soon as I double click or even hover over a friends icon. From firebug I have seen that each request does not take more than a second. And mostly it is less than 500ms. The time lag I have experience, which is always more than 5 seconds makes me believe, it is entirely time based. Does someone now the details on this one?