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Usability

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If there is one thing I don’t look forward to when I buy a new device is the setting up, especially entering passwords to the websites and apps I use. We are all encouraged by the tech giants to have long and difficult passwords for security reasons, but I feel they don’t do enough to make the process convenient (note that I am not saying easy which is associated with being easy for the bad actors as well) for us to use. Yes, there are efforts like Microsoft Account Phone sign-in which allows you to do password less logging in,…

Dear Facebook, Please understand that not everyone is as smart as your product managers, I am certainly NOT. I don’t understand the #UI for “Your Story” feature on the web. When I see a notification that a friend has posted a new story, I click and I get a weird looking “mobile” like window which goes away even before I can read the whole post or story or text or whatever you are calling it today. And, if I reply to a story, I am unable to figure out where it went. If the “Story” is having a video, why am I…

This week I encountered two examples of how even the giants in e-commerce have a lot towards improving the usability of their apps. The first was with Amazon India. You expect the Internet juggernaut to have perfected the whole online shopping pipeline, yet I found there was a bug in the invoice that was displayed – Amazon engineers might argue it is a feature, but for me, a consumer it is a bug. The below invoice should be showing for the second item, the amount which should 2 * unit price (₹834), instead it was wrongly showing the unit price…

On 19 February 1946 Alan Turing designed the first well-known software for a stored program computer.  Seventy years later, each of us are carrying numerous apps (software) in our pockets and wrists. Software today can be incredibly powerful, they contain millions of lines of code, can guide nuclear missiles to their target, even recognize the human voice and translate them on the fly. Today’s mobile apps like Microsoft Word or Facebook are more complex than entire software stack that powered Apollo 11 spaceflight. The technology powering Apple’s Siri, Google Now or Microsoft’s Halolens were impossible even ten years before. The growth…

This is something that I saw two and half years back during Microsoft Mix ‘09 conference. I wanted to blog about it then but somehow seemed to have missed it. Today I was reminded of it when I was talking to my Yoga master about my experience of going to a Doctor in the USA and buying medicines there a few years back when I fell sick during a trip to Houston. Unlike India where prescription drugs are sold in sealed aluminium foil strips, in the USA I found many of the medicines are packaged in bottles. There was this…