Monday, September 26, 2005

Make Ganguly : Coach of India Cricket Team

It is a huge disservice to the cricketing nation of India for both Chappel and Ganguly to go at loggerheads. There is no questioning the track record of Ganguly as a captain and as an aggressive,fearsome leader on the field. But at the same time Chappel was bought for a purpose to address some of the apparent weakness in the team and prepare the team for the WorldCup 2007. My only suggestion to Chappel is that even if he had the right intentions for the team, his approach has left much to be desired. He wants to approach his job as if he is coaching the Australian team. You do in Rome as Romans do. Moreover, his unability to motivate Ganguly to adhere to his coaching regimen may be seen as personality clash.However, I think Chappel needs to adapt to the situation. Either way nothing is going to get accomplished in a fragmented team mode which is unfortunately the current situation. I hope better sense prevails and everyone can focus on the game called cricket rather than scheme yet another soap opera episode. Food for thought How about Ganguly being the Coach and Dravid leads the team? Sorry Greg: It is India After All

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Child in EveryOne

I got reminded of that little child who is full of energy, verve and curiosity when I got my Apple laptop yesterday. Beaming with excitement and intrigued by the new toy, I spend few hours trying to admire the beauty of the laptop and acknowledge the attention to finer details. Ahh!..this blog is not about being an Apple convert (I know Steve is little disappointed), but it is about the discovery of the very fact that there is a child in every person.
In the book 'I AM OK, YOU ARE OK', the author highlights the very fact that every individual makeup is made up of three coexisting layers (adult, parent, child). Believe it or not everyone has that child in him that leads him to enjoy the trivial, live the moment. The very fact that in every conversation that we engage in, there is either the adult or the parent or the child interfacing is intriguing. The appreciation of these subliminal interactions can ensure improved handling of the situation. Anyway, I love the child in me, it gives me the creative spark, fills me with the energy to do things unconditionally and gives the excitement in mundane things. As someone said
"Just Be Yourself, because those who matter, don't mind
And those Who Mind, Don't Matter"
Do you agree? Should I care? :)

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Dialog Box, a bad user interface design element-Part I

Okay, “blog” readers, lets discuss something about user interface design issues.
There are so many of these but lets take one at a time and my random pick is dialog box.
There are so many things the way we design our user interfaces, which we can improve on and we should improve on. I have seen some applications, which we use on a daily basis improving on it but some still do it the old way. Most annoying feature of some of these applications is the modal dialog box. So let’s find out what is bad about these dialog boxes.

As we all know dialog boxes are classified as (1) Modal and (2) Modeless. Modal dialog box is that, which require a user to respond to it before doing any other action on the application which produced it. On the other hand a modeless dialog allows a user to perform other actions also, on the same application, while it is active.

Dialog boxes are useful when we need to get some input from a user or if we need to give a response back to a user. Dialog boxes become more helpful when a user is viewing a list of items and he/she wants to add another item. Using dialog box in this case lets user add another item, while viewing the list.

Now the real question, if a dialog box is so useful then what is wrong with it?
Well, out of the two types, modal dialog box is really the most annoying.
Consider “Font” dialog in MS Word. It is modal in nature and when it is active, it won’t allow you to do any other action on the word document you are working on. Consider its use now. This dialog box is used to change the “Font" properties of the selected text. So let’s say you select some text, open this dialog box to change font and then realize that you need to select some more text. The only option you have is to close this dialog and then select more text and then open it again. Now think if this dialog is modeless (just like “Find and Replace” dialog in MS Word), in that case you don’t need to close it to select more text. A small annoying issue is solved. (To our rescue, MS word has a font tool bar also to perform similar action, which most of us use.).

Now can we live without these dialog boxes? I would say minimize dialog boxes in your applications, especially, if it’s a web application. All those pop-up blockers on user’s machine can make your web application look infested with bugs.
There are some other alternative designs to dialog boxes also, and I will try to write something about that in my next blog, till then bye.