User Experience, UserXP

Avast warns Blogspot and Travelocity are infected websites

Avast warns Blogspot and Travelocity are infected websites

Avast sprang up a warning today that 10 websites from India were infected and Blogspot.in and Travelocity.co.in were among them. Are the websites unaware of security threats?

A couple of well-known online malware website checker does not seem to agree:
http://sitecheck.sucuri.net/results/blogspot.in
http://sitecheck.sucuri.net/results/travelocity.co.in
http://siteinspector.comodo.com/public/reports/13563320
http://siteinspector.comodo.com/public/reports/13563351

Avast is resorting to cheap tricks to promote its paid pack and that urges me to not trust them at all.
Can known brands like this resort to cheap tricks? What is your point of view?

Point of View, Technology, User Experience, UserXP

The Awesomest Calculator App for Apple devices

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While browsing for something, hit upon this cool calculator that would make many lives easier. You no longer need to find keys and type to calculate. All that you do is draw the numbers and operators with one finger and the MyScript Calculator will return the result. Even complex calculations such as Square Roots and To The Power Of are also a breeze. The written problem is morphed into digits and result is displayed instantly.

Ain’t that cooler than the boring calculator you see on your table, right?

User Experience, UserXP

Yebhi.com compromises mobile user experience

I am pretty impressed with Yebhi.com, although I feel they have focused less on making it friendlier for its user.

Normally on my iPhone, I wouldn’t want to really go to a bigger screen unless its for watching a movie. Even shopping is something most of us with 3G or WiFi connections today would wish to finish on our phones. My perspective here is of websites matching user convenience and user friendliness.

Let’s see how Yebhi.com lost 3 of its 5 stars on my ranking today.

When I went to Yebhi.com on my iPhone’s native Safari browser, I found it most annoying to see the desktop version of the website open up. Too small to experience anything great, I had to repeatedly use the pinch to zoom. Not done. There goes a star.

Scrolling through the menus is quite a tedious task. Seems like that was never built keeping the mobile screen in mind. This also accounts for their checkout and payment screens being really tiny. There goes another star off their rank.

When I searched with even one letter they gave me some results, however when my search string was a blank space, it too me to an error page like the one below. Not expected and that lost them the third star.

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At the same time, Flipkart’s error page for an unknown string was as below. And what made me happy to see is that their mobile is much better and friendlier than their main website and even on their error pages they have the continue shopping button, as expected.

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Don’t you think bettering user experience is the key to effective branding?

Point of View, UserXP

The Tangy Spicy Nuts

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The design is always something woos me into trying something out, however what ups the interest is the experience the products give me. And I don’t like compromising.

These Masala Peanuts come with a Tangy flavour of I would guess chaat masala and a tad more dry mango powder. I would quote it to be beyond competition.

What would you say?

Connect, Touch, User Experience, UserXP

Samaritan Wins – Unsaid Branding

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Where brand managers and marketing consultants are their burning midnight oil to make a significant difference to customer experience, there are a few Samaritans who are winning over customers by just extending a good deed to make sure the customer’s convenience is met.

Just a little while ago when stranded in Wakad, Pune waiting for my bus and making repeated attempts to understand the pronunciations of the locals, I felt it was time to take a bite and was guided to Spice Curry hotel by a passerby with the assurance that its hygienic. That was enough to build my first impression. And so it was.

On walking in one of the attendants showed me a seat and also the washroom to wash my tired hands and face off the grime. Second impression built.

The waiter, who I was talking to in Kannada, comfortably assuming he understood the language as the restaurant was run by a Shetty, heard me patiently and then confessed he did not know the language. Here it was the patience that paid off.

Then was my order of Curd Rice without green chillies, which they willingly accommodated against their regular recipe. Fourth impression built.

The last one was the best. The manager Shashi Shetty understood that I was having a tough time figuring the place and offered to drop me to my bus boarding point, which I willingly accepted.

Did the respective people have to take those less expected efforts? Not really.
However, what it did was leave a very positive impact on a casual customer like me that got me to blog about them immediately. Certainly worth the selfless initiatives. What say?

Point of View, User Experience, UserXP

Why GoogleDocs?

I have been using MSOffice since I knew computers. And have a love-hate relationship with it for that long too. Hate cos it slowed down my PC. Love cos its so feature-rich. And then the slow bit became so irritating, I moved to Notepad. Loved it and Love it even now, however miss the formatting. So, I started using Outlook Express, as my word editor. After all, I was used to sending out emails with it.
A few days later, I earned an invite to Gmail. And it changed quite a few things. Including getting used to the Auto-Save a-la MS Office. For quite some time now I use ‘TextEdit’/’MSOffice’ on Mac, its a lot better than on a Windows OS, and ‘Notepad’ and ‘Gmail’. Then came GoogleDocs. And, good gracious, now sharing, opening and viewing attachments was GoogleDocs job.
What I missed was the ‘Etherpad’ way of community editing. Great tool for collaboration, I should admit. As they quote “EtherPad is the only web-based word processor that allows people to work together in really real-time.
When multiple people edit the same document simultaneously, any changes are instantly reflected on everyone’s screen. The result is a new and productive way to collaborate on text documents, useful for meeting notes, drafting sessions, education, team programming, and more.”
I liked it. And soon I read “On April 14th, new pad creation will be disabled.” So as of yesterday, I lost any opportunity to create a New Etherpad. :(

The Internet aint a bad world, after all. What do I see, Voila, our own GoogleDocs integrates the Etherpad style editting. So my respect for GoogleDocs got higher overnight. :)

You sure got to read this to know why GoogleDocs.
And while you are at it, just add a few lines of how you liked this post in the Comments. :)

Published on 15 April 2010

Branding, EventXP, Point of View, Social Media, User Experience, UserXP

Doltish Green Beer Day 2011

I love Beer, like many of you and don’t need a reason to sip on one. However, I would not go pissed drunk to Office or School for the sheer respect for that place.  And then I find this “tradition” of Green Beer Day.

For those like me, who did not know what Green Beer Day was, its a rather silly reason to drink Green colored Beer all day and go drunk to class, started by Miami University Students and a tradition since 1952. Sometimes I feel students of Miami University just ran out of ideas and the juniors who were happy just copying the illogical habit.

Gmail Ad on Sohi Sandwich Club
Gmail Ad on Sohi Sandwich Club

How did I get there?
This SoHi $1 Sandwich ad on GMail got me curious and went to their Facebook Page. And the likes on this page suggested Green Beer Day 2011.

Likes of Green Beer Day 2011 on Sohi Sandwich Club FB Page spotted by Brandbull
Likes of Green Beer Day 2011 on Sohi Sandwich Club FB Page

Curious to know why Green Beer Day was so popular I googled it.  And Viola! I find this Wiki article feeding my curiosity.  And after reading the tug between Miami University and Miami Student editorial board, I concluded, by practice, that arriving at class inebriated, would lead to disturbing the sanctity of the place of study. And this is certainly not a tolerable act.

Firstly, just adding color to the golden potion to make it green, seems so mediocre. Secondly, making it a big event, is lack of creativity. Thirdly, making it a ritual and rebelling against principles of a study place is sheer indifference. And beyond it all the display on http://greenbeerday.com/ shows Green Beer Day is March 3, 2011 and has a counter that has the countdown senselessly running even now. Also observed that the counter resets back to 30 mins 00 seconds, every time the counter expires.

Now that’s what I call Comedy of Errors :)  What say?

Green Beer Day dot com stupidity spotted by Brandbull
Green Beer Day dot com stupidity
Green Beer Day dot com countdown counter stupidity spotted by Brandbull
Green Beer Day senseless Countdown