June 22, 2009
Your Monday morning cuppa HFI buzz!
2. World usability day:
Narayan Gopalan, associate creative director, is definitely the
HFI partnered with Yahoo! to
man in the limelight. The World Usability Day 2008, the Digital
host the event. The theme this
Strategy seminar—these are just some from Narayan’s list of
year was transportation. We
projects that have been receiving rave reviews. Mark Cohen
created teaser posters, using
had this to say about him recently: “Not only is he a talented
in-house objects (cameras
designer, but his work ethic is off the charts!”
and toy cars on a map of Bangalore) and used our
In conversation with Narayan about his works and his working
illustration skills to put
together the collaterals. We also managed to get some
Bird’s eye view
advertising space at the
I work in the area of visual design/graphics. Work includes
airport – and used this as a
creating designs for websites from wireframes, visualizing
creative canvas to showcase
research into information graphics – making it easier for the
viewer to digest, and working on special events. In most cases I work along with CELs from usability, and contribute in
Work round the clock
the visual design of UIs and other deliverables. I also work on
A recent project with Mark and Doug reiterated the challenges
presentations, which using some graphic treatment can be
faced while working from two different locations especially
made a lot easier to read.
with a 10 hour plus time difference. But I think systematic
made this a smooth task. There is always a gap in responses
1. Digital strategy seminar with Jerome:
to feedback due to the difference in working hours, but that
planning, clear cut decisions and precise communication has
The aim of this
has been worked around by mutually adjusting our timings to
suit each other. The high points is always the enthusiasm
was to let the
from the HFI US office’s end.
participant take home an object that
would remind him of
I like working alone! I like organized systematic work where
the seminar and in
phases of the project are determined at the start. The
turn HFI. After
deadlines and timelines are set as mutually agreed by all. I do
not falter on timelines and work toward producing the best
options we came up with a magnetic toy. This toy includes having magnetic tubes
possible given the constraints and time. I am practical and do what can be done to its best possible capabilities.
and metal spheres which together can be used to create interesting shapes. We found it a good metaphor to represent
Who’s not a researcher?
the content of the seminar. After procuring these toys, we
B Y J YOTI K UMAR , P ONDICHERRY
painted them the HFI brand colors and contrasted some pieces with a sleek silver. We then packaged these in boxes
My very first class. PRP in Mumbai. Not
with foam, and also had an insert explaining the concept
that I had not taught earlier. Rather, that’s
behind this gift.
the thing I have enjoyed most – “talk about
We photographed the toy from different angles – and used
things in order to own them.” It is so
that as a visual language for the collateral created at the
satisfying to see that glitter in the eyes of
seminar. The brochure, kit, pamphlets and the posters across
your audience, those widening of eyelids, as if someone is
the hall used the same language. This way we hoped the gift
opening the window of self to consume more of you.
would be a good reminder of the seminar without overtly branding the object.
Of course I was nervous! This was a different audience—one a director of a company, another the owner, rest were mostly
somras team leads and group leads. All these pitted against a poor CEL (btw, I am still searching for the centre)!
June 22, 2009
I feel actually at a deeper level both appear as one. Much like the opposites of night-day and yin-yang, research and
But there was one thing that immediately boosted my
design both are mere expressions of the singular urge, that
confidence. I realized that while my audience was surely more
is, to CREATE. And we not only create articles, we also
experienced, it was more experienced in doing things the
create our identities through them. We need our identities,
created continuously and persistently in order to continuously search the identity.
How did I know? From their questions! “How does research help in design?” Aha! What a cool question to start a
And both research and design contribute in this search. By
discussion in PRP!
the way where am I going with this? Probably I need to do
I turned the question around, “Are you a researcher?”
more research and importantly, design something to help the
The answer came, a big “NO”. “I am a designer.” I asked, “Very good. How do you get to know whether the
insight. So I shut up for the moment and let you think.
design is appropriate?”
To dad, with love
“I test it with users.”
B Y F ANG L IU , C HINA
“Excellent! Do you test with actual users? All of them?” “No. The representative ones, only a few of them.” “OK. So you select a sample. What do you do with the sample users?” “I give them some tasks to do on the designed system.” “All the tasks?” “No. a sample of tasks.” I felt so happy to hear my words from my audience’s mouth. “And do the users do tasks at their home, when they feel like?” “No. we have a test lab, we invite them and give them the
Father’s Day today has become a day to not only honor your
task.” “So you use a controlled environment. Very good. Now please
father, but all men who step into the father figure role--
tell me. How is it different from research?”
all honored on this day.
stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers and adult male friends are
“haan..hmmm.. OK…b.” A saw a good beginning and went full throttle. “So now that you are a designer cum researcher (cum
Mrs. John B Dodd, of Washington, first proposed the idea of
transliterated in Hindi means less, what a coincidence!), tell
her father William, whose wife died while giving birth to their
me, do you design by research or do you research by design?
sixth kid. He was left to raise the six children by himself on a
Wazzat?? I knew that reaction much before I had uttered the
rural farm. It was after Mrs. Dodd became an adult that she
realized the great love her father had shown in raising his
Aha again! I too was surprised at the beauty of the sentence I
children as a single parent. Her father was born in June, so
had just uttered. How true it is! We are not researchers, but
she chose to hold the first Father’s Day celebration in
research is what we do in order to design. And we are not
Washington on June 19, 1910. And it was in 1966 that
designers of products only; we design our research
President Lyndon Johnson officially declared the 3rd Sunday
experiments also. It becomes difficult hence, to identify
of June as Father’s Day.
a “Father’s Day” in 1909. She wanted a special day to honor
whether the research commands the design process or is it the design which leads research.
Just as carnations are a symbol of Mother’s Day, the rose became connected with Father’s Day. Some observe the day
We sure need a design (as an outcome) in order to conduct a
by wearing a red rose to indicate that one’s father is living or
research but then we also need research in order to inform
a white rose to indicate that he is deceased.
the design! So which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Or are they inseparable, both existing because of the other?
Happy Father’s Day to all fathers in HFI!
We welcome HFI buzz / project-related articles / technology & design news / reviews / creative writings / any other fun stuff at email@example.com. Please send in your feedback, suggestions and comments too.