Thursday, March 16, 2006

Web 2.0 & User Experience

After writing about the new jockey, some personal experiences and some interesting terminology, I thought its better if I put something that is more near to me. Yes me talking about technology and the web (Oh my God!!).

There is a lot if talk and hype about Web 2.0 and every other company talks about harnessing it, but what is Web 2.0? Let me try to answer that. After going through all the stuff available its more or less User Experience that we are talking about when we refer to Web 2.0. User Experience? One more jargon? Nope, not a jargon but a ground reality that people have off late realized. Its time we wake up to the fact that a user who is not comfortable i.e., who doesn't have a good experience at your place will never come back.

Now how do we define the so called User Experience and what is the scope of this experience? Is it the look and feel of the pages that the users see? or is it the ease with which the end user finds what he wants? or is it the efficiency with which the users' requests were handled on your site? or something else? I would put User Experience as the overall feeling that the user 'experienced' during his stay on the site. It includes all the parts of the application and not just the one or two of them. Each part has its own vitality. The interface has its role to play and so does the code that gives life to the site, at the same time what we tend to miss out on is the ability to integrate the stunning interface with an equally good code that has to be designed to efficiently handle dynamic user requests from JavaScript Callbacks as well as normal process flow. Such an integrated system would be an ideal platform for the users to have great experience where he gets everything that he wants with least effort.

So where do we stand now? How far are we from giving our users the spell bound eXperience and who all would contribute to it? Lets wake up and get going.

Let us comon


I just overheard a colleague of mine utterring this word. Somehow I got tickled and then the web gave me the answer. Dooced is the one who has been fired because of his own website (says the urban dictionary) but where did it get coined?

A bit of surfing this time takes me to, which belongs to none other than Heather B. Armstrong who was herself dooced.

Interesting to observe how words like these get popular. Sometime back we had the word Bangalored.

Maybe some day, I could coin a "Dendude"

Dendude : One who thinks his blog is a den and he is a lion! Growl!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The 'Indian' Experience

I just happened to come across a post by someone about his experience with the King of Good Times (Kingfisher Airlines). I felt I should also let know Customer Service is synominous to Indian.

A couple of months ago, I had been to Delhi on a trip and had to travel back to Hyderabad on a Sunday morning flight to attend a function, and a travel agent (whom I contacted over phone) delivered me the tickets on Indian Airlines (now Indian) the previous evening when I was busy with some thing very urgent. I never bothered to verify the tickets and reached the Airport by 6:30AM to board the 7:30AM IA flight to Hyderabad. The old lady at the check-in desk saw the ticket and asked me if I have handed over the right ticket. When I confirmed, the kind lady informed me (to my horror) that the ticket was on the flight that left on the previous day i.e., Saturday morning. I was shocked as I had to travel the same day. The lady then guided me to the Officer-in-charge who patiently heard to what happened and what my situation was. I admitted it was my mistake not to check the tickets.

The Officer (who was in his mid 50s) made a couple of phone calls and then

Officer : "Mr. AK, I collected the options that you have as of now. Since this ticket was booked by an agent, the agency has to proceed with cancellation or a no show refund.
Now as far as your journey is concerned, we have some seats on the 11:30AM flight but the booking is closed and some on the 3:45PM flight for which you could re-book"

Me : "Sir, I understand your rules but there are two issues here. One, I am a visitor to this place and would never be able to track back the Agent. Two, I have to reach Hyderabad, by at least 2:30PM."

I don’t know what made me say them but I felt like a small kid lost on the way home.

Officer : "Mr. AK, let me see what best I can do."

He said this and vanished for 15 mins. Meanwhile I was mentally preparing myself. I had least hope on the Indian Airlines officials, after all Pubic Sector hey bhai!! I pulled out my mobile and informed my people back home that I would be late and may miss the function.

Then came the kahani mein twist.

The gentleman officer came up to me with a set of tickets in hand.

Officer : "Mr. AK I managed to get these tickets to put you on the 11:30AM flight as the check-in process for the 7:30 AM flight is already closed but you will have to pay a fine of Rs. 500/- as adjustment fees."

Only he knows what he did but he managed to get me a much wanted ticket. All this from a public sector employee??? Amazing.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

The New Jockey!!!

Hey guyz,

We now have a new breed of species on planet earth. This species named "Blog Jockey" would soon take over all of us. Already eager to meet one of them?