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User Experience, driven by Mobile Network Operator.

Today when I saw the news about “Google Buzz” at work, all of my office mates did try to find out if Google Buzz is available for them yet, some get success and some don’t. I as an Android phone user did try it from T-Mobile myTouch3G, guess what? It throw me to the page where it says only Android 2.0+ phones are able to use the Google Buzz.

That’s where I discussed the “reason why I still love iPhone” with him, Apple don’t discriminate on the basis of Software Updates with its users, reason?  One Company, One Distribution Channel, One Device Manufacturer.  I know we heard tons of time that Apple is bad (or good depends on to whom you are talking) that they control everything except the “Network”. Google on other hand with there semi-open-source Mobile OS and then there are different manufacturers coming up with the Android based phone now almost every month.

Here I am in a very limbo situation from a user perspective, why there is no symmetry on Android core firmware distribution? Is Network Carrier are the one who are suppose to decide what type of firmware I should have it? Crippled their experience? Check out the XDA Forums it fills with that kind of info, the brave Geeks of Android did their magic and still doing it to make the Experience superb! I myself running the T-Mobile Rooted Firmware and it gives me the boost on certain thing for instance… sliding my fingers on the screen and making the screen moves little faster than before (with the default Firmware).

I know here we can debate “buy the Google Nexus or Motorola Droid”, let me tell you… I need it on what I have, not what I don’t have.

I think the best way to approach this problem is let the Google give away the Android updates from there channel solely, and then if Mobile Network Operator and/or Manufacturer decide to put the ‘layer’ on it (see HTC Sense UI, MotorolaBlur, Sony Rachael UI, and Samsung TouchWiz UI for instance) they can ask there device users’ to download that ‘layer’ from their website. Only those who are interested will do it, and I think if your layer is so “Average Joe Friendly” they will for sure get it and it will fly from your server like a hot-cake.

I once told my God Father that …. “Google Android Phones are not for you, because you don’t want complexity in your life… However it is for those who either enjoy the complexities or love complications in their lives and enjoy the Dancing Bear”.

Happy Complexicating

The iPad: Reality, Unicornism, UXism

So that’s the magical device, the most important invention. Well for average joe,  it is somewhat promising. For some power user it is not.

Let’s take a look in to the reality first, it has awesome or I would say gorgeous screen, unlocked but useless on T-Mobile in short AT&T is your only best bet, virtually the only way to go with 3G version is with AT&T, great for high school and college kids, flashy bookstore and iBook no doubt the user experience is really appealing, existing iphone apps compatibility etc.

However in my family these days we are debating over the purchase of webcam based laptop, which I believed going to be an easy decision however it turned out little bit tough. As an average American family we are being careful with our spending. I was expecting the iPad with front facing webcam, because my second half is keeping in touch with her family abroad mostly with Skype Video Chat, alas! The introduction of first generation iPad is really not that impressive anymore from the “need” perspective.

I may buy one (iPad), only to awe myself with the Apple’s latest UI and UX bonanza and get the daily dose of UX inspiration from it. Other than that, it is just a man-up version of the iPhone. As I learned a very good lesson with iPhone that the third iteration is rock solid hence “third time is a charm”. So when they will have the front-facing webcam, I will be the first person in the line to get that device. Why? Apple is the king of “User Experience” enrichment.

From my pictorial experience I would say I am totally disappointed from the “Lock Screen”. The “Slide to Unlock” bar is tiny, it is like a small wee-wee on a Gigantic Dinosaur. I rather prefer something iPad centric as it can be seen in the following figure.

When you slide it up, it will fold-up like “Blinder”. And when you lock the screen, it will fall like a “Blinder”, you get the idea? Right?

Well, right-now we are inclined toward the HP Slate, it has freaking webcam plus full blown OS, and seriously when on Skype video chat you do not need a typing just rest at kitchen counter while in kitchen and continue chatting, on a table? Just dock and keep chatting.  Freaking iPad doesn’t have that webcam.

Here is what I am expecting in 2011 iPad, the front-facing camera that will recognize the the user and will launch only those apps that bought or authorized to use for that specific user. Then Apple once again can bank on “$19.99” price for iPad Software upgrade, by default it will have 2 User Pack (couples mostly) and then if you have a big family you can have “$39.99” for Family Pack (5 users). Anyways, too much day dreaming I should go to bed now.

My today’s ranting ends here and hopefully I will continue more ranting on my user experience in coming days.

Good Luck and Thanks to all the magical Unicorns’ bubble burst.

Disclaimer: I took the iPad image from Gizmodo’s “Apple iPad: Everything You Need to Know” blog entry. Thanks to my friend Kamran for the design touch-up.

My first UX related project…NaanMap

Yup! I just getting myself ready for the NaanMap launch. I dreamed about this idea when I first witness the Zabihah.com, the reason for coming up with the NaanMap idea was simple… I need simplicity whenever I need to search anything related to niche market. Zabihah.com is still complicated and we did our best to come up with the great User Experience with NaanMap to the niche market.

That’s what I said… Avatar & iPhone, the Trend-setters

On Friday December 18, 2009, at work I was discussing with my manager about the Avatar and the technologies involve in to it. I said to him… “James Cameron will for sure is setting the standards, and in my opinion Avatar is like the iPhone of the movies.. as per what I read and will see on Monday at 10:30 am”. So does now we can read the same tone here

iPhone raised the bar of Smartphones Touchscreen standard. Now I am dead sure the Avatar will do the same for movies, and any 2D from Q4 of 2010 will look like lame to us, my two-cents.

Ciao for now ;)

Facebook, please do not loot the naive user?

Facebook user are not all ‘tech-savvy’ or ‘power-user’ so why loot them for the sake of trying to be Open?

Hey Facebook, you missed the Twitter bandwagon, so don’t try to copy their idea by trying to putting all the “chit chat” either in Text Format, Video Format or Photo Format in front of Public, wide open.

Do educate your user, without putting the sensitive privacy related options by default “open” or in your lingo “Everyone”.

I think Facebook User Experience is very tricky and shaddy, sometime they do try to make you click on something you really should not be clicking.

Recent action is the updated “Privacy Updates” and the shady interface, take look:

What’s missing isn’t the ideas… it’s the will to execute them.

Seth Godin

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

Steve Jobs

So we have only three major social interfaces… Twitter, Facebook and MySpace – yet.

M. Mudassir Azeemi

Tablet Fever

I get acquainted with Tablet PC when I bought it way back in 2005, my first Tablet PC was Averatec C3500 it was pathetic, lame and seriously not up to the par, battery life was so-so, Tablet PC with AMD Athlon XP-M 2200+ was really a joke thrown on the face of a Joker.

Anyways, I gave up, and there is one thing I forgot to mention, I was only using Windows Journal, the built-in Notepad like software, it was not that impressive. Never knew about OneNote, and never get motivated to use this Tablet PC ever or any TabletPC whatsoever.

Here comes the “iPhone Typhoon” which changes everything about “Touch-screen” and their usability. So we came to know that fact that if things done little different they do make a big bang in the universe- of Smartphone.

Then I saw this vaporware/prototype on Gizmodo, it is known as “Microsoft Courier“, Bill you really in to this Tablet PC don’t you? So I was saying that, this Courier ignited my interest in to the Tablet PC again, why? Seeing what it can do by using “organic gestures” and “organic input medium”, and achieve something exactly what “TooDoodList” pioneer Nick Cernis is proposing – using Moleskin Notebook & Pencil (the Unlimited amount of Battery in this Notebook is for sure). I was impressed.

This impression of Courier leads me to get a Netbook. Funny, isn’t it? I was thinking that I can read the books in PDF format and do some doodling and sketches and give some feedback to my designer (yes, working on couple of cool pet-projects with some cool people in the evening after my full-time job in the morning).

However when I out of curiosity search the Craigslist and eBay about the availability of the cheap Tablet PC, to my surprise.. I actually hit the jackpot – of productivity. I bought the HP TC1100 and I am impressed mind you it is 2004 technology and it runs on Intel Centrino Processor with 1GB of RAM, and 40 GB of Hard-drive, I know it is not what you want these days. However it does the hell of a job:

  1. I am now able to read and annotate my PDF files, including my books that I bought in PDF Format.
  2. OneNote 2007 is the best productivity tool for UX Designer/Interaction Designers alike, that’s what I noticed while using OneNote 2007 for my 40 minute commute from Fremont to San Francisco both ways.

I can use the Balsamiq Studio to sketch what I want to sketch, export the image of my sketches to the OneNote, put more note on it, snip the screen of a inspired website, inserted in to my OneNote, and boom! There I have a feedback ready for my designer and my team, about my new UI idea or any new small improvement on the existing screen/interface.

So now I am really waiting another “Trend-setter” movement from the Apple that may gonna re-kindle that iPod & iPhone like success in the Tablet PC Market. I know Bill, it is your pet-project, but the one who will execute it brilliantly will triumph, I am counting on your Courier however Apple by far prove themselves the trend-setter. Good luck.

Oh by the way I completed complete “Getting Real” by 37Signal with the active Highlighting on the important line on my HP TC1100 Tablet PC, and it is in the form of Slate with the detachable keyboard, very handy when you need the “Netbook” like form-factor, instantly. Also you can visit the Popular Science Magazine and check out the article written in the favor of TabletPC (someone is taking an aim on Kindle by Amazon).

Happy Tabletting!