Metamorphosis – Girl to Woman

April 20, 2012 § 1 Comment

East meets West

Before you start imagining a heavy dosed drama let me just cut it short and spill it, yes ‘I got Married’. Its been long since I wrote any post basic reason being, I always wanted to write about something sound and insightful and before long I realized its too much of a pain. Research, well composition of thoughts and most important a lot of time. So I decided just to write what I feel and if others decide to find something insightful then good for them.

Coming back to the dramatic headlines, now to think of it was anything but drama. Oh how I wish there would be a movie moment and stuff but that just got missed. It was definitely grand burning serious holes in my father’s a/c no wonder the relief on his face when I packed off to a different city. For me it was a grand party where I got to be the queen for one day and wearing the most heaviest of costumes and loudest make up. But who cares it seriously felt great. No complains. Probably the complaining part will begin now that actually I have got married. Wham!! Reality hits.

The change or metamorphism to talk about was not much and surely am glad about that. Honestly the changes like my new boss phrased it (yes I got a new job too!) people only change one thing at a time but I changed my city, my marital status, my job and my house. As much as it sounds overwhelming it definitely did not feel so, maybe my better half might have more to say on that. But overall as I slip into this lifestyle trying my best not to turn into the stereotypical couple complaining about the drudgery of the everyday life, I am enjoying the shift. I hope the others around me enjoy the joy ride too. Of course I will not mention the forbidden topics like the ‘in-laws’, the nuisances of domestic helps and finally the more than one uses of the sofa in your living room. Sshhhhhhh!!!!

Gmail gets a facelift

November 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Gmail_New_Old
Today morning finally got the much awaited surprise to use the new Gmail. Well the buzz was already doing the rounds for the past few months with its preview video pitch introduced and the grey theme. Officially today they made it available for public use with all the functions. Honestly in my opinion I was quite delighted to see the transformation.

There can be contradicting views as some people questioned does it actually give it a ‘new’ look? To answer to that we have to understand that the Gmail service was already the most popular one and people embraced it from various platforms like yahoo, rediff, hotmail, etc. in initial days because of the amazing simplicity and to the point approach. So honestly to redefine an already popular thing would not be a very smart move. Moreover I think especially for Google with its Google+ being on the rocks they would definitely not tamper with their successful product to bring about a radical change.

Now from the design point of view i think there are some very interesting changes. The increase of white space and padding has made it appear at first glance neat and simple. There is now a synergy among all its other products like search, documents, google+ etc..

To begin with starting from the advertisement position it is now a separate component. Application of text has been reduced and instead icons have been introduced. The smart part what I liked was it has a nice way of prompting for each icon and button. This is constant throughout the application. The default grey is much more soothing to the eye than their patent tone of bluish violet in the classic mode. The highlighting at the side is done by the change of colour rather than the band of colour running through. This again keeps the white space constant.

The side bar has been made simpler by removing most of the time unused fields like adding people for chat or invites. Instead those are shifted to the bottom with again the use of icons. The compose button has been highlighted differently with a nice reddish button.

The only thing which bothers me and I would have preferred something better are two issues. One, the scroll bar which appears when I hover over the chat list. It is still the same blue bar from the classic look and some how it does not gel with this new look. Second, the manner in which notifications for new mail is shown. Maybe some colour there or some visual element would have made it appear more exciting and fun.

Apart from these like they portray conversations look better and have been made easier to follow. Overall a nice change which I welcomed whole heartedly except for the two issues. For the others, well not much as they don’t really have a choice.

Eventually they have to ‘take it or leave it’.

Social Graph vs. Interest Graphs vs Privacy Graphs

October 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

I recently read this interesting article about the comaparisons between these two terminologies. Its fascinating to note how the social web is spreading its reach with every day, every minute and every second. Almost now everyone is familiar with the terms of the social networking site. Even my mom who is not at all tech savvy has got a hang of Facebook and Twitter. But the question is with every bit of your life and activities exposed how secure do you feel? Is your own privacy going for a toss? With Facebook’s time line feature creating a rage. Twitter already the established player. More applications like Klout, now introducing Kred who keeps a tab on your social activities and give you scores. Its like your left with only two options either embrace it with both arms and seriously you need them both with the ever increasing list of networking sites, or you be a social outcast.

Now coming to the topic of social graph and interest graph, at the time when I was going through the choices or thoughts of what to reveal in my profile and what not. I realised that not only were there analysis being made on every update and activity of the users but there were also observing trends and generating graphs.

To shed a light on these two terms for users like me who are unaware. A social graph is a digital map that says, “This is who I know.” It may reflect people who the user knows in various ways: as family members, work colleagues, peers met at a conference, high school classmates, fellow cycling club members, friend of a friend, etc. Social graphs are mostly created on social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, where users send reciprocal invites to those they know, in order to map out and maintain their social ties.

An interest graph is a digital map that says, “This is what I like.” As Twitter’s CEO has remarked, if you see that I follow the San Francisco Giants on Twitter, that doesn’t tell you if I know the team’s players, but it does tell you a lot about my interest in baseball. Interest graphs are generated by the feeds customers follow (e.g. on Twitter), products they buy (e.g. on Amazon), ratings they create (e.g. on Netflix), searches they run (e.g. on Google), or questions they answer about their tastes (e.g. on services like Hunch).

So now we know that how every feed that we create generates a trend showcasing our social behaviour. To a person like me I was quite appalled and felt an absolute breach into my privacy. Ofcourse I understand that when I sign up for it I am being monitored but when you see it as a brief summary its kind of creepy. But like I said thats the way it is and i guess will be.

In that case if you tweet about this will it reflect your interest or the reach of your social network?

Books as Decor : A New Dimension

July 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Order in Chaos (before)

Crisp Order (after)

I think by now it must not be very difficult to guess that how I can be quite obsessed with books. We have often experimented with the bookshelf and made it a design element in our house. But this time I was more fascinated by the book display by the customized book jackets. We have witnessed the impact books can create when we arrange their spines in different styles. Colour coordinating them, the careless display of favourites on a table which is actually well thought of. In short if your a book lover your house will show it.

Coming to the customized book jackets I will give credit to Thatcher Wine of Juniper books who really gave me a lot of inspiration. This style might not impress everyone as some people find solace in the chaotic display which gives the feeling of variety. This style could be more preferred to people who gives priority to order and organization. But when I looked further I found there are many other players and it could be one of the DIY projects just for fun. It gives a total different look to your shelf and can be very interesting how a small area of a spine of a book when stacked together transform the entire display.

Go ahead enjoy the display and be sure to try them out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Girl Who Could Fly

June 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

I just finished reading this book and am left with a lot of mixed emotions. All throughout the book I seem to have flashes of previous experiences while reading Harry Potter and later followed by the X Men series. Even then I could not stop reading and the feeling of curiosity growing in me. Honestly I did not become a fan of Piper McCloud right away. I was far from being impressed and almost till the first half was behaving like a sharp critic comparing it to likes of Harry Potter and JK Rowling’s style of writing.

The interesting part was no matter how hard I tried to not like it somehow I almost cried in between and had wide smile on my face when I finished. Surprisingly I was feeling bad it got over and I am sure if Victoria Forrester writes another part to this which I think she left lot of scope I will not hesitate to grab it.Finally I can say even if the concept may seem vaguely familiar you cannot but enjoy this book and wait for the next installment.

In short it was a delight to be part of the journey of Piper McCloud and would love to travel and fly further away!

‘Funk’ it up

May 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Chumbak, Purple Jungle, Mara Hoffman

Like the genre of ‘Funk’ music was in vogue now its turn for the graphics to get all jazzed up. My recent fascination is with those lovely splash of colours which might seem random but definitely is in the right proportions. The first was Chumbak — a tribute to Indian street art. They have a collection of items which can be used as stationary and souvenirs. Its really fascinating how they manage to include all the intricate details into a small piece.

Next saw similar work while walking down the road of Hauz Khas village in Delhi and visiting the world of galleries. I think would definitely write a post about that experience very soon. There saw the works of the two French ladies in Purple Jungle. The colours stood out in the small outlet and I could not help but walk in to the store mesmerized with the vibrancy. But there was a difference unlike Chumbak where it was mostly illustrated this was the absolute raw Indian street art to its core. Some of it were digitized pictures of real objects. None the less a style much appreciated.

The last mention I would like to make is a name mostly popular in the fashion world Mara Hoffman, where she has made a mark with her tribal meets psychedelic prints. Its not the indian touch but somehow I the vibrancy of colours still reminded me of the style in the former two. The connection might be only in my mind but somehow I think the way these guys have created their palette is worth a look at.

I am sure there are many such artists and they would constantly be an inspiration to us to ‘Jazz’ it up. A word of thought — words like ‘Funk’, ‘Jazz’ are also music genres.

Business cards – Utility or Futility

May 18, 2011 § 2 Comments

Google business card

A few days back I was thinking of designing my own set of personal business cards. Then this thought came across that whom do I distribute it among? Followed by do I really need a business card or whether a website or personal blog reaches out to more than business cards. Honestly with the advent of these new technologies going back to hard copies is proving more and more far stretched.

Now the mobile device is getting more and more equipped to contain every bit of required information. You don’t mind carry it along cause anyways its part of your being now. You might miss your keys or wallet at times but you seldom miss your phone. Call it your life saver or partner for life! The point being even Blackberry is advertising the QR code concept. Things are paving path for a complete change.

Does that mean that the business cards will slowly cease to see light? Well like in my previous post about the Kindle, I cannot vouch for the business cards in a long term scenario. Definitely the feel of the card in your hands, an interesting layout and colour scheme can catch your attention but I think people are getting more and more web savvy and carrying or storing business cards in a folder will only accumulate dust over the years.

Sites like www.about.me has provided brilliant customisation solutions and now for people who still want the card in their hands provides print options too. If I were to choose I would still love to see my name printed on a card and I think that somewhere that self achievement still keeps the business cards alive. I humbly accept the streak of narcissism in me.

The point still remains in the coming years will we see a more advanced version of QR code generators and business cards with customised options for mobile devices. Should people rather be happy in being available at few clicks rather than searching through dusty card holders?

Mobility winning over self satisfaction? Only time can tell.

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