UPDATE Aug 2005: Orange Hues was originally launched as a team blog on usability under the title IndiaCHI (CHI for Computer Human Interaction) and ran in that avtar on blogspot for about an year. After which I took over, renamed it Orange Hues and moved to this domain. For more, see this post from Oct04: IndiaCHI is now Orange Hues.
This post seeks to define the purpose, agenda and audience of this blog.
First, thanks to Vikram who actually took the initiative to start this blog. This was a while back and since most of us were unclear what it intended to do and why should we be blogging - it never took off. There was also some confusion about how to start posting [we were trying to log in at BlogSpot.com when this actually works from Blogger.com].
Well, I’ve set it up again, with a new template and some changes and since it was me who mooted the idea of a team blog, let me clarify the ideas behind it. [I had to wait all this while to put it up because I was off my cable LAN connection and browsing is fairly restricted from a MTNL dial-up]
Purpose: why blog?
I originally proposed it because meeting up every Sunday [here in Delhi] was getting difficult. Putting up yet another discussion group was ruled out because it adds to the bulk of our [already heavy] mailboxes. Nobody likes to get multiple copies of a thread that has little relevance to their work.
A Blog is better because it is easier to access and we can choose to read it/contribute to it at our leisure and no one gets dozens of e-mails.
So essentially we see this as a surrogate to our weekly Sunday meetings. There are other benefits of course, like the fact that folks in Bombay and Bangalore can now participate.
If I remember correctly, we started the meetings with one aim and it still stands good for the blog:
Form a community of usability professionals and enthusiasts in India, and:
* Learn from and educate each other
* Promote the discipline around us
Note: I've kept the terms 'friends of usability' and 'the discipline' undefined because
a] We don’t want to get into the debate of definitions and labels. Not yet, at least.
b] It keeps us flexible, open and in discovery mode - which is essential for learning and growth - rather than rigid, closed and formed mode – which stifles innovation and new learning.
c] We all know what we’re promoting here, so let’s just give it a name that is recognised most – usability.
Agenda: what to talk?
All things user experience. Okay, here’s a quick list of the things you can do here: Post links to articles you find useful. Talk about trouble you face in promoting UX to your bosses/ colleagues/ clients. Discuss your ideas. Put them to test here. Organise a meetup. Tell others how you solved a problem. Or those you couldn’t solve. Share your designs or code. Ask how it looks in mac-IE5, win-NN4 or Safari. Speak about what excites you about your work. Or what you find most frustrating. Dissect a design – tell us why you think it’s bad [or good!] and how’d you change that SmartyPants. Secretly post screenshots of your NDA-ised work and ask for an opinion or resources.
This is just off the cuff. We can do so much more!
PS: Tip #71 – When in doubt head here. Come back to this entry when you don’t know what to post.
Audience: who’s listening?
Mainly us, the contributors to the blog. Also, anybody else who may find the entries valuable. This may include students and practitioners in India.
It shouldn’t be difficult to get a prominent place in Google for terms |usability india|, so expect some of the traffic from outside India to head over here.
Rules? There aren’t any. Just a few tips
a. keep in mind to keep it on topic.
b. to post an image put it on your server and link to it here.
c. ‘Add a comment’ feature isn’t supported on blogger yet. There are some third party tools that provide this service. I'll soon update this. Note that Blogger of course is only a temporary platform. As soon as it picks up steam and if we see any good in it, we’ll make it an independent blog [perhaps on IndiaCHI.com].
d. Please do reply to any feedback e-mails you receive from the readers of this blog. If you’re pressed for time, send them to me!