Making print ads more interactive

Of late one can see the usage of QR codes in advertisements. So much so that it has been catching attention. It’s there on prints, can be found on the web medium and even displayed at notice boards and other common areas in public spaces. In case you are not familiar with it; QR codes stands for Quick Response codes and was meant to be a code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. (Read more about it here on the Wikipedia page)

With the introduction of more phones that are based on the Android and the Symbian 3 platforms, it is but natural to have more applications that will make use of it.With the 3G network slated to come on a larger scale in the market too in the next month (Tata DOCOMO has already started the promotions for it), the number of applications will only increase. If there is anything that is sure, it is that the interactivity level of the users with their devices will increase.

It is this aspect of Interactivity that is the focus of this article. One can imagine and agree people spending more time on their devices (the phones, ipads, tablet pcs etc). With everyone trying to create solutions for different user groups keeping technology in mind, the number of possibilities are vast.

The down side of this would be the vast pool of information that will be available at the disposal to the user. In such a scenario it is very important to get the right piece of information in the shortest time possible. And that is precisely where the QR Codes (and another thing called Data Matrix) come in handy. Just feed in the information that you need to be coded, into many of the freely available, . . . → Read More: Making print ads more interactive

Summary posts from CHI 2011

As mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I am looking for posts that summarize the discussions and the hot trends and topics at the CHI conference this year.

I came across two posts that summarize what was being discussed at CHI 2011, in Vancouver this year.

One is by my professor at Indiana; Erik Stolterman. CHI 2011, the field, development, grand challenge, and the need for more books

Excerpts from this post: CHI is changing. It is not easy to really understand what the changes are when you are at the conference, but compared with just a few years ago it is easier to see that there is a difference.  The conference is broader, more diverse. I had the chance to go to several sessions and it is exciting to see that not only is the diversity growing but I also found the quality in general to be better than usual. One clear change to me is a new interest in theory. I was very pleased to see a design theory session filling two large rooms, and so did the more theoretical design methods session. I hope that this is a sign that the field is getting more eager  to find ways to synthesize findings and results from all the studies, experiments, and designs projects.

The second is from a friend at college, Diya.

CHI 2011, the Social Media and musings

Excerpts from her post: Not surprisingly, social media and the underlying theme of interconnectedness formed the crux of CHI this year. Mining social data and trying to get an insight into user behavioral patterns marked the core of several sessions, presenting some very interesting insights on user behavior on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Location Sharing applications and Social Question Answering sites. One of the questions that . . . → Read More: Summary posts from CHI 2011

Here comes the CHI 2011

The premier conference on Human Computer Interaction, Interaction Design, User Experience Design, Usability is here again and this time it is being organized in Vancouver Canada. More on the conference can be read on the conference’s site :

I am sure the whole world,just like me is looking forward to the conference. We are all eager to hear what’s the things defining the conferences.

From the #chi2011 tag that I have been following on Twitter, I feel that there is going to be an overdose of touch screen interactions, papers on the portable web an cross platform User Experience Design.

My flat-mate at Indiana, Gopinath who is now a doctoral student at Indiana presented his research on Feminist HCI. I look forward to reading his papers too, apart from the Bardzells and Buxtons.

Too bad that I cannot attend the conference since I am here in India. It’s a dream that one day we have this premier conference in India and I be a part of the team that organizes it here! That would be awesome.

Design for Device or Design for User

As a user experience designer, one is always looking at things from a user point of view. That is well accepted in the industry and elsewhere now. Of late there has been a plethora of devices coming into the scene and majority of them have being driven by touch capabilities. This has resulted in a lot of designers starting to design for the device than design for the user. A few market leaders have also gone to the extent of saying (or atleast have been made to believe) that they do not rely on User Research anymore and just do things with conviction.

With the mobile phone becoming what the PC was a few years ago, the possibilities have increased n fold. There are applications being built everyday. The ease of putting things out there in the market place, open for a wide customer base to use it, has resulted in millions of stuff being built and often for users on whom the designers have not done any primary research. Moreover, the question arises that there are all of these being designed by designers or by anyone who has an access to the SDKs.

With User experience being adopted by many companies in early stages of their product development,  I reckon that there are a lot of people doing a bunch of stuff in the name of Design and User Experience Design in particular.

The only question I have is whether we are dying up on the user and relying more on the device. I hope not.

Today Came across a really interesting slide-share presentation today that was a part of a workshop on mobiles. They discuss about the spread of mobiles and how we are becoming more device dependent, in both our actions and the things we create. I . . . → Read More: Design for Device or Design for User