Tuesday, April 29, 2008


A documentary about typography, graphic design, and global visual culture.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Usability and Interaction Design Books

Here's a list of 10 Usability and Interaction Design Books

1. About Face 3. The Essentials of Interaction Design by Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann and David Cronin

2. Prioritizing Web Usability by Jakob Nielsen, Hoa Loranger

3. Designing the Obvious. A Common Sense Approach to Web Application Design by Robert Hoekman, Jr.

4. Don’t Make Me Think. A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug

5. The Design of Sites. Patterns for Creating Winning Web Sites by Douglas Van Duyne, James Landay, Jason Hong

6. The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman

7. Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design by Jenifer Tidwell

8. Designing for Interaction: Creating Smart Applications and Clever Devices by Dan Saffer

9. Designing Interactions by Bill Moggridge

10. Envisioning Information by Edward R. Tufte

I hope to read atleast half of them before starting school... in Sept'08.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Internet gridlock to occur in just two years

The US telecoms giant AT&T has claimed that, without investment, the Internet's current network architecture will reach the limits of its capacity by 2010.

Speaking at a Westminster eForum on Web 2.0 this week in London, Jim Cicconi, vice president of legislative affairs for AT&T, warned that the current systems that constitute the Internet will not be able to cope with the increasing amounts of video and user-generated content being uploaded.

"The surge in online content is at the centre of the most dramatic changes affecting the Internet today," he said. "In three years' time, 20 typical households will generate more traffic than the entire Internet today."

Cicconi, who was speaking at the event as part of a wider series of meetings with UK government officials, said that at least US$55 billion worth of investment was needed in new infrastructure in the next three years in the US alone, with the figure rising to US$130 billion to improve the network worldwide. "We are going to be butting up against the physical capacity of the Internet by 2010," he said.

He claimed that the "unprecedented new wave of broadband traffic" would increase fifty-fold by 2015 and that AT&T was investing US$19 billion to maintain its network and upgrade its backbone network.

Cicconi added that more demand for high-definition (HD) video will put increasing strain on the Internet infrastructure. "Eight hours of video is loaded onto YouTube every minute. Everything will become HD very soon and HD is seven to 10 times more bandwidth-hungry than typical video today. Video will be 80 percent of all traffic by 2010, up from 30 percent today," he said.

The AT&T executive pointed out that the Internet only exists thanks to the infrastructure provided by a group of mostly private companies. "There is nothing magic or ethereal about the Internet -- it is no more ethereal than the highway system. It is not created by an act of God but upgraded and maintained by private investors," he said.

Although Cicconi's speech did not explicitly refer to the term "net neutrality", some audience members tackled him on the issue in a question-and-answer session, asking whether the subtext of his speech was really around prioritising some kinds of traffic. Cicconi responded by saying he believed government intervention in the Internet was fundamentally wrong.

"I think people agree why the Internet is successful. My personal view is that government has widely chosen to... keep a light touch and let innovators develop it," he said. "The reason I resist using the term 'net neutrality' is that I don't think government intervention is the right way to do this kind of thing. I don't think government can anticipate these kinds of technical problems. Right now I think net neutrality is a solution in search of a problem."

Net neutrality refers to an ongoing campaign calling for governments to legislate to prevent Internet service providers (ISPs) from charging content providers for prioritisation of their traffic.

Content creators argue that net neutrality should be legislated for in order to protect consumers and keep all Internet traffic equal. Network operators and service providers argue that the Internet is already unequal and certain types of traffic -- VoIP, for example -- require prioritisation by default.

"However well-intentioned, regulatory restraints can inefficiently skew investment, delay innovation and diminish consumer welfare, and there is reason to believe that the kinds of broad marketplace restrictions proposed in the name of 'neutrality' would do just that with respect to the Internet," the US Department of Justice said in a statement last year.

The BBC has come under fire from service providers, such as Tiscali, which claim that its iPlayer online-TV service is becoming a major drain on network bandwidth. In a recent posting on his BBC blog, Ashley Highfield, the corporation's director of future media and technology, defended the iPlayer: "I would not suggest that ISPs start to try and charge content providers. They are already charging their customers for broadband to receive any content they want."

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Design for the Next Billion Customers -Core77

Great article on users at the bottom of the pyramid who are overlooked. Read on. By the way, the author of the article Niti Bhan is an ex-NIDian.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Yahoo launching site for women -Economic Times

Yahoo Inc on Monday launched a site for women between ages 25 and 54, called Yahoo Shine. Amy Iorio, vice president for Yahoo Lifestyles, said internal research shows women are looking for a site to combine various content and communications tools.

"These women were sort of caretakers for everybody in their lives,'' she said. "They didn't feel like there was a place that was looking at the whole them - as a parent, as a spouse, as a daughter. They were looking for one place that gave them everything.''

Top 10 Places to Get Fooled on April 1st

Observing April Fools Day has become a time-honored tradition for many web companies. Much like changing your logo to celebrate holidays, pulling a fast one on your users on April 1st is something that many web services and applications have really taken to heart. But keeping creative year-after-year is tough, and some companies have learned how to consistently deliver. Below, based on past performance, is a list of the top 10 places you can go to get fooled tomorrow.

1. Google

Google's pranks each year are probably the most anticipated on the web. Last year, they hit users with two: Sewage-based home WiFi, and printed Gmail. Other classics from the Google prank archive include: the Google Mentalplex, Google Gulp, Google's jobs on the moon, Google PigeonRank, and Google Romance.

Being the tricksters they are, Google also sometimes makes some extaordinary real announcements on April 1, like in 2004 when it used a rather tongue-in-cheek press release to announce Gmail. Google also inspires others to create Google-centric pranks, such as Google Maps Rooms from Google Blogoscoped in 2006.

2. Ebay

Auction site eBay is another great place to trawl for April Fools jokes. Some intrepid auctioneer usually tries to pull a prank each year, perhaps most famously that distinction fell to prop-maker Dan Baines. In 2006 he caused quite a stir when he put up for sale what was purported to be the body of a dead "fairy" on the site. It took him days to respond to all the email he got as a result. ""I've had all sorts of comments including people who say they've seen exactly the same things and one person who told me to return the remains to the grave site as soon as possible or face the consequences," he told the BBC....