World Usability Day 2008 Bangalore

World Usability Day 2008 Bangalore

World Usability Day (WUD) is a global initiative of the Usability Professionals’ Association to ensure that services and products important to human life are easier to access and simpler to use. Each year, in November, over 300 events are organized in over 40 countries around the world to raise awareness for the general public, and train professionals in the issues central to good usability research, development and practice.

The 2008 World Usability Day focuses on Usability in Transportation focussing on the interaction people and vehicles, the challenges and issues infrastructure and modes for moving around in our environment. World Usability Day 2008 is focused on exploring and creating awareness for several aspects of transportation in Bangalore and in India.  

Details

Date : 29th November 2008

Time : 10.30 to 4.30 am

Venue : Yahoo campus (inner ring raod, domlur)

Register to participate on the UPA Bangalore wiki.

If you are going to be at the event, drop me a line in comments below or send me a message on Twitter.

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I just finished going through the Consumer experience report, from Razorfish a survey which has documented the online behavior and characteristics of more than 1,000 “connected” consumers on the internet. This was refreshing to read in the midst of all grim news and presentations from VC firms and the layoffs in internet firms.

The Consumer experience report looks at:

  • People’s life online and their exchanges and networks that they build on the web
  • Changing consumer behavior heralded by Web 2.0, UGC and the voice of the consumer
  • what is the real impact of the “social web”;
  • Key drives for transactions and purchases on the web
  • and who is really using the mobile web and what are they doing.

The survey report is nicely documented and gives several key insights into online consumer behavior. If you are building a consumer internet product, it would suggest you go through this report.

Here are some thoughts I found encouraging, with potential for building opportunities on

  • Search as the start of most online experiences
  • Increasing importance of user experience design and designing for the “Facebook generation”
  • Emergence of online video as a rising star and increased adoption across demographics
  • Accelerated adoption of social media technologies at a breakneck speed – Increasing popularity of Twitter, Facebook and other social technologies which connect people and enable conversations
  • Peer driven search and search from social recommendation sites driving digital commerce
  • Market for smartphone is growing and adoption of online mobile services nascent
  • Growth of mico conversations and social media tools like twitter -“I don’t remember how I kept in touch before!”
  • Increased use of widgets which mashup data from various sources and can be accessed on the web and mobile
  • Increased demand for data visualization and enabling users to track their activities over the social web.

So what are your thoughts on the report ? If you run an Internet startup, what are you doing to leverage this ?

razorfish consumer experience report

You can download the entire report in PDF from here.

Understanding spatial search

November 4, 2008

So what is spatial search ?

In today’s context, where the Internet is the starting point for finding any information you need about anything in the world, and of course most of us use Google. The problem with traditional search is that it does not support or have information about the geographical dimension.

Why is spatial search important ?

This becomes extremely important when searching for something like “Guest houses in Bangalore”. Although the geographical location, in this case ‘Bangalore’ can be used as a part of search query term, the search engine does not interpret it as a geographical location.

So results for the search query – “Guest houses in Bangalore” will turn up documents with “Guest houses” and “Bangalore” and might not show up results with guest houses koramangala or indiranagar which are localities in Bangalore and also hence very apt results. This is because, the search engine does not have a relationship between these terms.

The other issue with traditional search in entities like homes is that the geographical information of these locations are not known, and hence they cannot be visualized on a map – which would be the most intuitive way to visualize these results.

While planning and architecting my100floors, we understood the need for Spatial search and helping users visualize home searches on maps. Moreover we felt that that searching for properties on maps was the intuitive way to find properties. In fact, we are the first to provide a map based search in India, cracking the problem of non-availability of geo-coded data.

The next post will talk about our implementation of Spatial search in, challenges we faced and a walk through of the user experience.

property_mapsearchmy100floors.com is currently in closed beta, leave your email address on the site and drop me a line here or on twitter and I will make sure that you get the invite.

The Twitter obsession (and addiction) continues, we are all hooked on to it, aren’t we.

If you aren’t already, do follow me on Twitter.
So for all the Twitteratti / Tweeple / Tweeps out there, here’s my list of top 10 tools / plugins (in no particular order) for Twitter to enhance your Tweeting experience.

Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck takes all the information from Twitter and helps you manage the information overload by grouping them into managable pieces or based on your interests.

Twitturly

Tracks Top URLs which are talked about on Twitter. Extremely useful service and helps you find the most interestsing and latest information on the web.

Twitter Patterns

Helps you give your twitter page some style! They have some really cool designs, check it out.

Twitterfeed

Very useful app, which automatically tweets whenever you publish a post on your blog. Helps you get some link love!

Easy Tweets

A handy tool for online and digital marketers who wish to leverage the advantages of social media and microblogging. Easy Tweets enables you to switch between multiple Twitter accounts, track follower, replies etc all from one dashboard.

Hashtags

Hashtags enable you to track and follow conversations on Twitter. Follow @hashtags on Twitter and the service will index your tweets. Then add a #tagname to your tweet and this can be instantly looked up or searched.

Quotably

This service lets you follow a user’s conversations in a threaded manner, showing you all the various people the given user has had a conversation with. Interesting tool, especially when you trying to find out what others are saying about your brand/service.

Plodt

Plodt enables charts your tweets based on a tag and rank you provide. For example you could tweet
Vinodh’s blog . *interesting 10* and as you keep adding such tweets, Plodt gives you a timeline graph such as below

Power Twitter

Power Twitter Features
This Firefox plugin greatly enhances twitter to include: photo sharing with embedded flickr photos, video sharing with embedded youtube videos, shared tinyurls are unwound and lots of other power user features.

Twitter Keys

Twitter keys is a fun tool for Twitter which enables you to use UTF8 symbols in your tweets.  Once downloaded, this appears as a floating window, so all you need to do is to choose your symbol, copy n paste. So come on, get creative in your tweets using these symbols.

One special feature

Vakow

Vakow is an India focussed service which lets you post to Twitter as an SMS. Very useful and probably the cheapest way to pot to Twitter via mobile in India.

Let me know what you like and what tool you use.

Twitter, of course has been one of the main reasons why I don’t get time to write on this blog. Most of the times, 140 characters seems to be more than enough to convey what I want to say. Moreover, I always end up having very interesting conversations there and the there’s always instant feedback from a set of very engaged audience.

I have now been using Twitter seriously for sometime now, so thought so sharing some stats. Thanks to  Twitter Stats and TweetStats which helped me to churn out these graphs.

Tweets per hour


Tweets per day

Twitter Timeline

Top @replies

So if you are already on twitter, follow me.

The slide deck below has some really great information on Internet and Web 2.0 trends in China, a market that most of us are not really clued into. Thanks to Trendspotting for putting together this data packed slideshow.

Here what I find most interesting and insightful from the information

  • China has the largest internet user base in the world to the tune of 253m users. They also have the largest mobile subscriber base of 574m.
  • China has a very health internet user sex ratio comprising of 47% women
  • IM, Online music and Online Video/movies are the top three online channels for Chinese youth
  • Out of the top 5 sites in China based on traffic, Yahoo China (No.5) is the only international player out them, others are all local players.
  • Chinese participation in Social media sites is higher than the global daily average.
  • Bulletin Board Sites (BBS) are extremely popular
  • The Total online ad spend per internet user in China is only at $8, however the ad market has heated up and is growing at 50% with increased ad spends due to the Olympics
  • Internet censorship and moral policing are very common in China, in fact 85% of Chinese approve government internet censorship.

So what’s your take on the Chinese internet market ? Do you have more insights ? What do you think are future trends in China ?

Found this very interesting picture which I think explains user experience and the various elements involved in it in a powerful way.

Image courtesy

What do yout think ? Do all these apply to shaping web user experiences too ? Are there other factors ?