Saturday, December 24, 2005

Ask your Employer these Questions - Freshers

Herez an article by Ripul Kumar, Director, Kern Communications. Kern is a leading user research, usability testing, and usability consulting company in India. It's quite useful especially for freshers in the field of interaction design / usability.

Companies looking for freshers don't expect freshers to contribute from day one. They want bright freshers who can learn and can apply usability principles in projects later. So, show that you want to learn, want to experiment, and can ask questions. You also have to show that you are willing to do any kind of usability work that is given.

There are two types of companies that offer usability jobs in India - usability consulting companies and software companies. In India, you will may not find financial companies, insurance companies, call centers, or manufacturing companies offering usability jobs. So, which type of company would you choose? Ask all these questions...

1. Mentor
As a fresher, you would need a friend in a mentor to help you learn the ropes of usability.

a. How many years of usability experience your mentor has?

b. What is the type of usability experience does the mentor have? The wider and more project experience your mentor have, you will be productive quickly.

c. How accessible is your mentor?
Many organizations boast of best people in the field of usability. And, freshers fall for their credentials. However, these people are never accessible. You will never learn anything from them. They are as good as not being there. You need to find mentors that are accessible regularly. In some organizations you may find mentors who have relatively less experience but are very accessible - that's what you may want to look for.

2. Type of work
As a fresher, no company will risk putting you on bigger projects. They would rather start you with small projects and judge you periodically. But, many companies promise you with big projects in the beginning - dont fall for those promises.

Some companies will only make you perform "heuristic evaluations" for years. They will not let you do any other kind of work - no contextual inquiry, no design, no testing, no nothing. Usability consulting companies are good if you already have some years of usability experience and you want to broaden your experience. However, they may not be a right career choice while you are starting your career.

3. Access to development teams
A complete architect is the one who can visualize the building and can supervise the construction too. However, in Usability, most projects go out of usability person's hands after usability testing. You never get to see what problems are coming up because of design. You never get to juggle between technical difficulties and usability issues.

4. Remuneration
Good remuneration is good for you, however, if a company can offer you good learning at the beginning of your career, you can sacrifice remuneration. You will have ample opportunities to earn more - better you are at your job, better remuneration you can command later.

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Thursday, December 08, 2005

mobile useage stats

hello ppl,
here is a nice blog link, one which talks about mobile useage stats among other things......the blogger is a user experince designer and has written 'some' other stuff, maybe worth wasting your time over.

oh and by the way i read of an intersting material sensor tactile sensitive film (piezoelectric polystytene film) that can be streched and used to cover whole objects, read up on it here
piezo sensor film
my advice is to start bottoms up with this link (you'll understand y)

thats all folks
WE WILL FIND A WAY, or we'll MAKE one. -
hannibal ( wake up gandhinagar NIDians hannibal got it right eons ago! )

Monday, December 05, 2005

Patterns in Interaction

The Origins of User Interface Patterns

Patterns in Architecture

In 1979, Christopher Alexander published his landmark book The Timeless Way of Building. In his book, Alexander argues that excellence in architecture can be achieved by studying a carefully defined set of design rules that are "packaged" in the form of patterns, such as "courtyards which live," "windows place," or "entrance room." According to Alexander, patterns are archetypal solutions to common design problems that aim to satisfy human needs in a certain context.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Bad Design

This is a interesting link... it may be useful for the Bad Design assignment.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Instructions for Blog Members

Please try not to copy the entire article, instead summarise / excerpt / underline the important points.

Always acknowledge the source in the form of links or if the source doesn't have an online presence(mags, books etc), make sure you mention the name of the book and the author.