user experience

Helvetica The Movie

November 23, 2011

So as I had planned, I watched the documentary “Helvetica” on Netflix. It is a well-made film consisting primarily of interviews with type designers interspersed with a zillion visuals of Helvetica font used all over the place. Not being from a graphics background, I was astounded to see how ubiquitous the Helvetica typeface is. Most corporations use […]

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More on Typography

November 1, 2011

To follow up on my post on typography, I noticed that “This Developer’s Life” had a new podcast on the topic. I liked the interview with Bill Hill, who has done some stellar work with Microsoft on ClearType. The previous podcast episode on “Taste” was also very interesting. There was mention about the documentary “Helvetica”. It […]

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Typography and User Interfaces

October 20, 2011

Google’s newest release of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, has a new font called Roboto. There has been a minor controversy as Roboto seems very much like Helvetica which, being copyrighted, Google cannot bundle along with the open source Android. And there has been some criticism of the font itself. For programmers in the past, these discussions […]

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Recommendation Engines: Exploitation and Exploration

October 17, 2011

A topic that I didn’t discuss in my post about recommendation engines was the concept of exploitation versus exploration in terms of providing recommendations. Some unfortunate terminology here, but basically “exploitation” refers to using a person’s activity to recommend products that are similar in nature. Exploration refers to recommending products that is a bit out […]

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The Delete Confirmation Functionality

January 13, 2010

Phil Haack writes about the lack of confirmation dialogs when deleting an item in the Netflix queue. I have noticed something similar on the Amazon wish lists. It avoids an unnecessary click, but at the same time, allows you to quickly undo the action if you had accidentally clicked the first time. This reminds me of […]

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The Worst Software Book Ever

October 4, 2009

There are some books (“Peopleware”, “The Innovator’s Dilemma”, “The Halo Effect”)  that you want to hug and never let go. And then there are others that you want to tear apart and dance on its fragments. Alan Cooper’s “The Inmates are Running the Asylum” belongs strongly to the second category. But first some meta: I […]

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The vi Paradigm

June 3, 2009

While eating, I sometimes use Google Reader. While a book would do as well, each blog entry is only a few paragraphs long and you don’t have to quit in between. Google Reader handles the eating situation well because you can handle most of the actions using a single finger. “j” is Next, “m” is […]

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How Many Friends Can You Follow?

March 10, 2009

The rise of social networks like Facebook and Orkut allow you to easily follow the happenings of your friends. Twitter allows you to keep track of what they are doing on a real-time basis. But how many people can you truly follow? The Economist has an article which spreads some light on this: Robin Dunbar, […]

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Graphics Design for Web Projects

February 21, 2009

Most of software development favors left brained thinking. Programming, in particular, is all about logic and being objective. For the most part, it is a learnable skill, even if the time requirements for being an expert can vary from the industry for which you are programming. Testing, too, is largely an analytical process of identifying […]

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Worst Authentication Error Page

February 9, 2009

What would you expect if you typed the wrong password into a login screen such as the following? Most of you would suppose that Google Adwords would bring up a screen telling you that your username or password is incorrect. Here is what I got: This is a very subtle problem. I typed in an older […]

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