Madhav's Blog


Random thoughts on technology, books and anything else …

“Marty” The Martian

Earlier this week, I attended an internal Lunch and Learn on Web User Experience.    This was an extremely interactive sessions.  They broke us up into team and had us design portals for specifics kinds of  users.  For example, 16-year old girl, 40-year old mom etc.

Not surprising given my luck with random draws, my table had the Martian to work.  The goal was to make him more “down-to-earth” and get connected locally.  We did a few fun things for “Marty”.

  1. Gave him a cool name (don’t stop reading, we did more than that)
  2. Gave him a Intergalactic Access Frame – he can choose if wants to read about that Martian volcano or follow the local Mayor (on Earth) via Twitter.
  3. Decided that Blogging is a priority for him and gave him the ability to make quick updates via his portal.
  4. Shamelessly plug our company’s other products (movie tickets, up selling communications channels) via a reference engine.

Long story short is that designing user experiences is not so random as I thought it is.  Not only do you have to understand what the user’s priorities are but you also have to live within Business rules (you cannot put everything there and you have to make money).


Filed under: Tech Ramblings

“Do No Evil”

Recently, I had the opportunity to read the book, Google Speaks by Janet Lowe.  Even though this is a generic book (i.e., there is Bill Gates Speaks and others), I found some interesting analysis and commentary.  For example, the discussion around “Do No Evil”.  This is actually one of the key themes from their Corporate Philosophy.

  1. Does not necessarily translate into “Do nothing illegal”, given Google’s foray into IP issues and their “compromises” in China.
  2. This was great 4 years ago, when Google was a pre-IPO company but not so apt now that Microsoft (once the Voldermot of the Technology Industry) is the underdog as far as the Internet is concerned.
  3. Very loose definition of evil – are they saying that other companies are FODs (friends of the devil) by placing ads on their website.

I am sure this horse has been flogged and is adorning a handbag somewhere.  Here are my $.0223 (adjusted for inflation).

Filed under: Tech Ramblings

Weekly Thought (July 27, 2009)

I came across this poem at the Holocaust Memorial in Boston.   The captures the evil of Nazism and the importance of standing up for things that are important even though they may not affect us directly.

“First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.”

– Martin Niemoller

Filed under: Thoughts of the Day (TODs)

Weekly Thought (July 20, 2009)

“Dig your well before you are thirsty”

– This is a quote by Harvey McKay and also the title of a book by him on networking – it symbolizes a lot of what I have come to believe about networking.  It has taken me over 10 years of working in Corporate America to realize that you really have to work hard at getting to know the right folks and developing relationship.

Filed under: Thoughts of the Day (TODs)