I recently visited my favorite designer’s portfolio and was aghast that he too was making an avoidable error in designing for mobile. A normal user will find nothing wrong with design below:
As a designer or common user can you spot what usability problem the designer has created?
Think hard ? Still not getting it ?
Now lets see the context of using this app .
This persona say Rita, 24 ( 155cm tall ) is trying to book a bus ticket on the GO. Most likely she is in a crowded space. She is holding the mobile in her right hand.and a shake in another.
What really happens ?
She struggles to tap the top area of mobile .
Why am I so harsh in defining the usage scenario ?
If the strength of a chain is the strength of its weakest link, then usability of an app is only as good as how it works in its most demanding situation.
So in a tough scenario, this is how women likes to use the phone like this.
Why does single hand usage matter ?
Have a look at the regions of cellphone Rita’s thumb can reach below.
Its tough for Rita to reach the top zones to tap with her thumb.
Also, the red zone keeps getting bigger as she moves to bigger phones like iPhone 6s ( On far right)
Why do our designers and developers make this mistake ?
Most of us non Arabic folks start to read our books from top left and move to right and then down.
This habit persisted in the way we designed our web. We kept the most significant content near top left.
So, most forms have first field (And most important trigger on Top left). This worked satisfactorily as mouse cursor was not anchored or tethered to bottom right. A flick got the pointer on top left.
This however is next to impossible for Rita to tap on top right with her thumb in one hand grip.
How does she handle it ?
She loosens her grip on the phone, tries to push the top of phone down ( Or moves her grip up ). During this instant, the phone is very loosely held. A small shake, push or lapse of control and the phone crashes on ground, breaking the USD 70 screen.
What is the way out ?
- Be conscious of the areas Rita can tap(green zones). Put all important tappable actions in that green area.
- Let only some tappable actions spill over to difficult zone ( Orange)
- Utilize the inaccessible areas for displaying information which aids user to decide the tappable action. Use red zone as display areas.
What is the conclusion ?
When designing for touch devices, break free from the book or web screen mental makeup and be very conscious of placing tappable actions in the green zones .
What is the moral of story ?
Look at mobile and touch based apps from a different angle of human ergonomics than what you do for web.
11 years after I hung my uniform as an air force officer. I am trying to remember if I ever chanted “Bharat mata ki jai” when in military. 6 years across 6+ military bases I served, how many times did I chant “Bharat mata jai “? I can for sure say I said “Jai Hind” a million times( Average 50+ times a day). But ” भारत माता की जय ” ? I think ” ZERO “. This surprises me and may be it will shock 1000s of chaddi nationalists a lot more. At epitome of national service, you do not need to chant this mantra. I am hopeful, this is not giving an idea to some jerk in Sangh HQ to wake up and destroy the beautiful salutation culture of our glorious armed forces.
Looking back on the day when I was to take oath to defend India with all my vigour even to peril of my life, I had 2 choices
- Take oath on Gita or
- Just affirm as an individual.
I chose to do affirmation. I didnt swear putting my right hand on Gita or Sita. 22 of my 24 course mates did but I believed that the commitment I make as an individual, in my full conscience and wisdom doesnt need crutch of any religion or book. I was questioned why I wont take oath on Gita though I am a Hindu? I answered that my flavor/vision of Hinduism is not congruent to everything that Gita preaches. My argument was accepted. Imagine doing this in any other religious or theocratic nation, I will be labelled blasphemist and bled to death. To me, this is the most solid idea of India Hinduism and its grandiose सहिष्णुता
Growing up, I thought the God factory in heaven(ऊपर) stopped producing Devis+ Devtas+ Maatas+ Baaps in 560 BC ( After Buddha) but reality is quite different. Today, as I see a lot of irritating jingoism on “Mata” chant. A quick search on Bharat mata reveals that it was first conceived in a fictitious play , Bhārat Mātā by Kiran Chandra Bannerjee . It was first performed in 1873. So, in reality is it not just another figment of imagination of this Bhodro (Baangali) playwright during British rule?. Whats so sacred about it?
The story on Bharat mata can be read here
Surprisingly, anyone can add few additional pairs of limbs, put a lion/tiger+ sun halo behind, add one weapon in each hand, top it up with a mukut and lo, a new deviji / maataji, baapji is created. Practically there is nothing stopping imaginative folks from creating Maratha maata, Patna Maiya, Guntoor Tanni or say JhoomariTalaiya maa. All it takes in this digital age is Photoshop. Blockheads can claim that not bowing to it is against Nationalism / Regionalism or city / Mohallaism
I agree, “Mata/Mataram” did become a battle cry for some freedom fighters but so did ” Bole so Nihal, Allah u akbar or Har Har mahadev or, Joi ma kaali or Jai Gorkhali or Chak de fatte. Everyone had a choice to pick the battle cry which galvanized folks around to fight a common battle. It was the pluralism of battle cries which allowed folks to win multiple battles and ultimately the war. Every chant served some purpose just as every color contributes to make a rainbow beautiful. Pick your own indigo or orange but dont try to shove your choice of color up somebody’s…. you know what.
I had always been critical of deification of objects in Hinduism. From पाताल (Core of earth) to पेड़(tree) to पृथ्वी(earth) to penis does everything need to be a devta? This 33 Karod devi devta concept never appealed to me but I often liked एकेश्वरवाद – एक साधे सब सधे , सब साधे सब जाय.
What do these mata chants have to do with a diverse, multifaith, multi ethnic pluralistic nation like India? What does it have to do with Hinduism other than its crudest form? What objective does this kind of deification handle other than
- Oversimplification of some objective to align the low intellect junta around it?
- Create another non taxable revenue stream (Read temples) to help Birlas / Bajajs and other wealthies to run trusts around it to convert black into white and white into silvers?
- Celebrate a day with some silly rituals, extort money, eat up calorie bombs, create traffic nuisance and strew the rivers and oceans with a lot of garbage ?
I am not from a religion which prohibits me to bow in front of anybody other than Allah. I am not prohibited to say Jai to anyone. As a free thinking man, my intellect revolts at mindless and reckless devification. Its utterly obnoxious to have a devata of every kind popping in front of me randomly from anywhere/ anyday expecting genuflection. I just wont do it. If a person like Javed Akhtar transgresses his religious bounds and chants Bharat mata, its his conviction and freedom to do it. If Owaisi doesnt want to say it, shouldnt he have the liberty to do it? Why should someone call him a a pig for it?
Why we debase the profound vedic shloka – जननी, जन्म भूमिश्च , स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी ( Heaven is found in the lap of mother and land of birth). Please note the usage of जन्मभूमि not मातृभूमि
We need to create more robust belief and value system around Nationalism and Hinduism in particular which can stand the onslaught of any critique or rational inquiry. Continuing to believe in ugly dogmas, stupid rituals and irrational beliefs or practicing them makes a mockery of your own intellect and our highly evolved religion.
Advantage Hinduism is: Its not driven by the communication someone received secretly in a cave. It does not shut down free constructive thought(शास्त्रार्थ) . Its not constrained or limited. The buck does not stop at any book. Not even Gita or Ramayana or Vedas can claim to be all encompassive of what Hinduism stands for. Its beautifully non prescriptive religion. It encourages you to be a contemplative and free thinking human. Empathy is what has kept this faith relevant.
आत्मनः प्रतिकूलानि परेषाम न समाचरेत.
If you wont like someone else’s ideology/faith thrust on you, do not thrust yours on them. If Hinduism could survive 600 yrs of murderous Islamic rule and 200 yrs of missionary lure, it can very well withstand ugliness emerging from within, in form of Sakshi maharajs, Amit Shahs or Muttaliks. We can evolve, we can mutate, we can create new releases, versions of our faiths, we need not create more gods, more maatas and baapas.
Recently, I was evaluating a very large enterprise software (U$ 100 Mn+ type ) for redesign with a project sponsor. She told me – “ Everybody added a lot of crap on this software whenever they felt like but no one bothered to clean it up ever. So what you see is a lot of junk all around which makes little sense “ .. Same I believe is the case with Hinduism as a religion. Everybody when they felt like added their bit of crap, no body ever cleaned it up. So here we are with a lot of junk.
If you wish to start on some introspection of Hinduism as a faith, a good point to begin may be here :
” Probably this is the only period in history of India when the self esteem of Indians and particularly Hindus is at all time high. They shouldn’t go apologetic about it ” – The Benjamin Netanyahu, PM of Israel observing the mood of India in 2015
The demagogues however have been drumming up despair on the growing assertiveness of Indian citizens and also the government. The self denigration of centuries leading to massive leakages out of faith, out of admiration of Christians ( During and after British rule to get closer to Saahebs) and fear of Islamic rulers ( Sword or oppressive Jazia) have been arrested. Its at this time, the Commies, the casteists and Congis are becoming increasingly irrelevant and their masters have begun painting ” Intolerance” as an ugly word. Their only resort to relevance is nuisance. I did a deeper gaze on the word and realized that the word or philosophy of ” Intolerance” is as neutral as fire we fear and worship. We use fire to keep house warm, we use it to cook food and we can also use it for destruction. Just as fire is what you make out of it, so is intolerance. Lets see 5 examples :
- Steve Jobs : The biggest entrepreneur of all time was highly intolerant of incompetence and inadequateness of compelling User experience. It was his intolerance of anything but the perfect product design which created superlight Mac book Air, a superb music storing iPod, a highly intuitive iPhone and a ubiquitous alternative to laptop in form of iPad. Just imagine how ugly the world would have been if Steve had not been intolerant.
- 2. Defense forces : The militaries across the world ( Except Pakistan off course) are extremely intolerant of indiscipline. You break the discipline and you get more than commensurate punishment. The punishment of treachery is “Death” . Offensive behaviour is immediately dealt with by Courts of Inquiry, charge sheeting, Summary trial and Court martial if required. Conviction or exoneration is swift and time bound. The judges in military courts are not as tolerant of stupid arguments as civil judges. They do not let Salman Khans litigate for decades and shake their asses while justice weeps indefinitely. Its this intolerance for inefficiency which makes military highly efficient not only in war but also in floods, earthquakes or even rescuing a little Prince from a borewell.
- Aviation industry : Recently, I tried to reach Bangalore airport for an evening flight. Owing to peak traffic, the looters Olas, Ubers were quoting 3.8x surge fares . This meant I would pay Rs 4800/= for a taxi to airport when my flight ticket to Pune cost only 2100/= . I was intolerant of this loot and took a private cab. He drove like Schumaaker to try to help me catch flight in time. The checkin was supposed to close at 1745 and I reached the airline counter at 1747( 2 minutes late) . The staff tried to help me out . She spoke to the captain of the aircraft but he was intolerant. He said , ” Manifest has already been prepared, I wil not accommodate“. I was disappointed and sad but then, thought about the intolerance to breaking rule which is integral to the field of aviation. If they become tolerant to lapses and violation of aviation standards , only by luck, millions of passengers would land on earth alive. Aviation industry whether civil or military is extremely intolerant even of excess body weight of air crew. Even a few glasses of beer by pilots, the night before may debar her from flying. Its this intolerance to transgress that makes flying trustable.
- USA on terrorism : The strongest nation on earth ( Economically and militarily) is extremely intolerant of possibilities of terrorism. It has learned its lessons from one of the ghastliest attack of 911. Now, if you enter US, whether you are a sucky Bollywood Badshah or a glorious former President of any other country , if the safety of country is to be ensured, you have to stand naked for inspection. Diplomacy be damned, there is no tolerance on safety procedures. Its this philosophy of intolerance which has ensured that not a single terrorist attack has happened in US in last 14 years after 2002. Tolerant nations kept on having 2611, parliament attacks and Pathankots.
- Human body : Try infesting your body of rotten food, excessive alcohol or over eating , your stomach will immediately tell you how intolerant it is. It will make you vomit. Check how the whiteblood cells of your body are intolerant of bad microbes. They show no sympathy or tolerance to harmful bacteria who enter it and chant slogans of its barbadi. It kills them and ejects them as pus. Its the intolerance which the human body shows to ill intentioned constituents which keeps it alive. The only time, the human body becomes tolerant to harmful elements is when it contracts AIDS. Its immune system collapses, the microbes can rejoice ” Body ke tukde tukde honge Insa allah, insa Allah” . The body is on death march then. If life has to sustain, body has to be extremely intolerant of such elements
Conclusion : The world ‘ intolerance’ has got a lot of bad press courtesy #Presstitutes funded by Shaikhs of mid east and and also commies/congis putting their entire weight behind it. Vedic philosophy tell about the genesis of action : Manasa ( Thoughts) -> Vacha (Speech) -> Karmana ( Actions) . Offensive actions, ugly actions do not appear out of thin air. They have their roots in Thoughts, it takes existence in forms of speech and manifests in form of action. If you have to eradicate Bad Karma ( Actions) ,you need to eliminate bad speech and ugly thoughts. The “Right” folks in the country are turning apologetic, in face of barrage of media onslaught. They are trying to establish that there is no ” Intolerance” or trying to confront folks who call India intolerant . This, I think is retrograde and defensive. I urge each one of us to be assertive , enunciate what we are intolerant about. Before that , lets base our intolerance on very sound benign principles. Garv se kaho – ” Hum intolerant hain ”
Years ago , I was at home of a relative. The matriarch, an old fat lady, was sitting on the floor along with another man in late twenties. They were taking turns to toot, fart, phuss and laughing with each release. It carried on like a match of tennis with none of them giving up. The air around was foul, the other folks in the room were laughing at this keenly fought battle.
Watch this interesting battle shit : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5cEzDeRLK0
Or this official farting competition : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDAT2IaEsTI
Some years later, I was with a nicely groomed teenager and talking. He suddenly excused himself, went to balcony for a second and came back. I asked him, “What happened ? ” . He said , he wanted to pass gas. I admired his sensitivity and upbringing..
Few years later, I was driving with one of my employees for a post lunch meeting and my flatulence was at alarming level. i asked him if I can switch off the AC and roll the windows down. I cant hold the gas any more and it will foul the air in the car. He agreed..
I have often wondered how people handle flatulence ( tendency to pass gas) in company of other people. I asked a girl about it. She confessed to me that, when caught in such situation, she tries to make a judgment on the intensity. If she knows its going to make noise, she holds it. If its going to be a slow silent passage, she passes it out.
Often in crowded buses of Calcutta this is responded by – ” Saala! Key boma maarchey ( Who the hell is dropping the gas bombs ? ” and often the witch hunt begins
The problem with this behavior is : A lot of folks in the vicinity get inconvenienced with the foul odour and keep guessing who is the source of this nuisance. Occasionally, the fouler’s judgment goes wrong and the “toot” plays out loud leading to eviction of the perpetrator and ensuing embarrassment.
Here is a youtube video where a man on airport is caught on thermal camera passing out gas. The video went freaking viral on the web : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp04J6Fzd6c
May be sometime in the future, folks will be caught and issued a ticket in airports, air planes, buses just like traffic violations
I have read the confession of an American lady who had enrolled for a morning Yoga class and was tooting in every Yogic position. Subsequently, the Yoga instructor, threw her out of the class.
Postures which trigger
What do you think is the best way to deal with such circumstances ?
How do you deal with such scenarios at office, public transport, while you are alone or in company of another person?
What is the etiquette of dealing with this biological predicament ?
How is it handled differently in different cultures ? // Ayurveda recommends not holding it even for a few moments and it seems in Indian culture it appears acceptable to pass it without any major restraints
Can there be evolved a global manner/ etiquette so that this scenario can be handled gracefully by folks who trot the globe.
I just moved in to live in a township in Bangalore. Describing the first experience of a laundry guy
Washing machine at apt fails on Friday //Sucks
Some one in group there is a laundry service below tower 17// ThankQ
Take a week load of clothes and sheets for wash..// Achy breaky heart
Every piece would cost Rs 45/= even a pillow cover..// Shocked may be the folks think in U$s
Nothing left to wear for office work week // Hapless
Little energy to sweat and carry it back// Tired
Oh the 1000s of blistering barnacles
Is the washing quality is good? //Doubtful
I have always paid premium for great stuff will this// Hope
When will you deliver ? 4 calendar days from now on Tuesday // Devastated
Can sweat more.. give 11 clothes // Le le ab tu bhi
Delivery promised 1930 Tuesday //
Wash 4 minimal clothes at room // Donkey me
Wait for tuesday // Kabhi jo badal barse..
Tuesday 1930 arrives..clock then goes past 2030 // aaye na Baalam ;(
Call up the Nawabs // Phone not reachable
Go down // Shop closed..
Look at the invoice // Nawabs on holiday on Wednesday
Thursday comes.. back to room in sweaty clothes// Angry..
Rush to the shop // Brace up for the blast..
DO YOU NEED A F**** INVITATION TO DELIVER MY CLOTHES ON TIME EVEN AFTER CHARGING A F*** BOMB.. // Expletives of xxx variety rain cats and dogs
/* 30 minutes later */
The clothes arrive at room // Wondering how these suckers thrive and folks tolerate them.
How would you deal with such service ?
When I was planning to quit Air Force, I’d think, I will not take up a job immediately after 6 yrs of service. I would spend a few months in Himalayas as a nomad before getting domesticated again.
As my luck would have it, I got married an year before release and was expecting our first child at the time of hanging my uniform. I was the breadwinner and hence reined into the cart.
Next, as my wife started working and we got financially stable, I thought, now I will travel alone. Acquisition of babies, car loan and homeloan meant, I had little to play around. Most of the vacations were spent taking kids to beaches and hill stations nearby Pune. The stuff just wasn’t just working out .
Why did I have that deep longings towards these peaks ?
- They are the biggest thing on earth, are mighty, they daunt and taunt me.
- Himalayas are full of evergreens and full of snow. To me its life showing extreme resilience and unending youth.
- They appear symbolic of some big mission in life. Reaching the top is symptomatic of success and they appear doable.
- Scaling them can almost kill you ( Low Oxygen, cold weather, treacherous gorges) . Also, I believe, what almost kills you makes stronger. I think going on top will build robust mental muscle.
- I can come back and tell some interesting stories to friends, kids and everyone. It can be inspirational
I have a few questions for you.
Do Himalayas taunt you ?
Do they intimidate and mock you ?
Do they invite you to view the world from top?
Do you think one day you can and will scale them ?
Do they attract and seduce you ?
What do you think when you see the images of mighty Himalayas ?
In this series of posts I am going to write about some of the most life enriching experience I had while doing a glacial trek and how it influences my life down in the plains.
Today there are things which makes me fill with disgust about the person who leads my nation
1. Section 66A : This ugly section of IT act of India was drafted by Kapi Sibal.. It allows govt to arrest any person if s/he expresses herself in social media and the expression is found to be offensive. When this was implemented, Modi had changed his profile picture to black. Calling it as draconian as an emergency. A year passes and he is in power, he deploys his entire legal battery to retain this ugly law. The solicitor general pleads for keeping sec 66 legal but thank god Supreme courts kills this calling it violation of freedom of speech. What a creep this man is
2. Disgusting dukanwalla : Pakistan extended an invite to Indian govt to attend celebration of Pakistan day in Delhi as per protocol. Pakis immediately broke the protocol by inviting the scoundrels of Kashmir to the event. The same suckers who wish to secede from India and break the country. At this sacrilege, there was no need for govt of India to go and follow the ugly protocol of still attending the meet which gives legitimacy to traitors. He forced Gen V K Singh to go and attend this ugly event though he didnt want to . All just because he can do some little kaaro bar with this terrorist nation?
2 lines from a poem by Ramdhari Singh Dinkar are very apt
Swatantra garv unka jo nar-fankon mein pran ganwate hain
par nahi bech man ka prakash roti ka mol chukate hain…
( Those are entitled to pride of independence who starve to the death
But dont sell their conscience to pay the price of getting a bread )
Very pertinent when the entire world is asking #WhereIsPappu
Dhritarashtra is one of the biggest pivotal character of Mahabharata. It was he who kick started the most epic battle ever in history of mythical mankind. Such is the immortality of learnings from this battle that we can quickly relate to repeat of human behaviors in our current lives. Lets see Sonia Gandhi’s love for her son Owl G for instance and assess how the analogy fits in :
The blinded, vengeful and lusty Dhritarashtra
1. Denial and vengeance: Dhrita was the eldest son and a rightful heir to Hastinapur. He was denied the privilege of being a king because of his disability ( Being blind ). He forever held vengeance to the injustice done to him. Sonia led Congress party to victory in UPA -I after Sitaram Kesri has screwed it up. She was rightful to become the PM but was denied ascendance because of technicality ( Citizenship…
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