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Showing posts from March, 2010

Fitts’s Law and Usability of Gmail

Fitt’s law (Simplified): " Put commonly accessed UI elements on the edges of the screen. Because the cursor automatically stops at the edges, they will be easier to click on. [And then] Make clickable areas as large as you can. Larger targets are easier to click on. " The law is rather simple (or, one might argue, too simple to follow all the time). This is basic common sense. Human Interfaces of computer system typically are a subject matter of Fitts’s law . A FEW YEARS AGO I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY to attend a workshop with Mr. Aaron Marcus . The veteran man is an industry expert on usability and the designer of the original Nokia cell phone’s user navigation system. Cell phones were a niche product in early 2000's and not much data was available to ascertain how users would react to such an operating system of such a hand-held device. Mr. Marcus had a variety of ideas and principles to talk about at the workshop on the subject of Software systems and their usability a

"The Right Thing To Do" - Harvard Lectures on Moral Philosophy

PROF. MICHAEL SANDEL OPENED HIS FAMOUS CLASS ON "JUSTICE" and Moral and Political Philosophy at Harvard University, USA, with the following (cautionary) address: If you look at the syllabus, you would notice that we read a number of great and famous books. Books by Aristotle, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, and others. [...] We will read these books, and we will debate these [philosophical] issues, and we will see how each informs and illuminates the other [school of thought]. This may sound appealing and interesting enough, but here I have to issue a warning: To read these books, in this way, as an exercise in self-knowledge, carries certain risks. Risks that are both personal and political. Risks that every student of Political Philosophy has known. These risks spring from the fact that philosophy teaches us, and unsettles us, by confronting us with what we already know . There is an irony: the difficulty of this course consists in the fact that it teaches

The Purpose of Business

"EVERYONE LIVES BY SELLING SOMETHING." Robert Louis Stevenson, the Scottish traveller and writer, once concluded. In the knowledge industry of the modern era, the selling could be of — an idea, a change, an example (PoC), an influence, a model. The logical outcome of which is value creation. Which further translates into profit or benefits of various kinds at different levels of its hierarchy. Peter Drucker had a different view. Creating profit didn't seem to him to be the main goal of an enterprise. While advocating for Not-for-profit organizations, Drucker observed that there are obvious limitations to making continuous profit-making business models. According to him, to be responsible and relevant in the society, a business model could make profit that is equal to its cost of capital. However, if the goal of the business model is to create a customer , that could possibly provide a sustainable model for existence of a business. Taking this argument a notch furthe