October 27, 2004

IndiaCHI is now Orange Hues

Back in September 2003, I started IndiaCHI - a team blog for a bunch of us here in Delhi and elsewhere in India, folks who came together[1] due to our common interest in usability and HCI related areas. As it turned out Navneet[2] and I were the only ones contributing regularly and with time it became a personal thing. This was until March when we moved our house and didn’t have internet access for a while. I’ve been procrastinating ever since [yes, I’m a chronic procrastinator!]

I have been selective in making entries in the past but I hope I made some good, thoughtful ones[3]. Unless I had an important perspective to share, I generally avoided commenting on news just because it was news. I avoided giving out links because you can get them everywhere. I refrained myself from posting about cool, fun stuff because I wanted to remain on topic.

The thumb rule was, to write only about stuff I believed in and was really excited about or where, I could add a new perspective. Not writing too often has its drawbacks though. No one likes to see the same post on top over and over again. So I don’t know if I’m going to follow the same rigour.

There have been a few major common threads in the past entries so far. One is dissatisfaction with status quo and as a corollary, celebration of innovation. I define the highest form of innovation as identifying critical problems never addressed before and solving them in unexpected ways.

Second is to approach design or any other problem by simply - thinking through. If the dotcom bust hasn’t eroded the myth that time to market is one of the most critical component in a product’s success then Google and Gmail should. Investing time in contemplating a problem often leads to radical innovation.

Third is that the big picture is fundamentally more important than the details. The answer is to always begin with the bigger picture but without losing sight of the details. Another common overlapping thread is an absolute faith in customer good. As Google says in its corporate philosophy[4] "focus on the user and all else will follow." Mark Hurst calls it The Customer-Centric Worldview[5]. It simply states that “business revolves around the customer” and therefore, “companies that focus on creating a good customer experience will succeed far above those that do not.”

Notes and Links

[1] First entry on team blog IndiaCHI.
[2] Navneet is an interacton achitect based at Mumbai.
[3] Some favourite entries from the past have talked about
Sept 2003 - Email as an untapped business opportunity
Nov 2003 - Respecting and empowering users
Dec 2003 - Yahoo! Shopping review
Jan 2004 - Apple's entry in music as turnaround event
Feb 2004 - Solving user problems in unique new ways
[4] Google’s Corporate Philosophy
[5] Hurst’s Customer-Centric Worldview

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