Archive for the Misc Category

Edward De Bono, author of the book titled ‘Six Thinking Hats‘, theorized the Six Hat Thinking methodology. As stated in his book:

It is not possible to be presensitized in different directions at the same time just as it would not be possible to design a golf club that was the best club for driving and at the same time the best club for putting. That is why the Six Hats method is essential. It allows the brain to maximize its sensitivity in different directions at different times….The essence of parallel thinking is that at any moment everyone is looking in the same direction — but the direction can be changed. An explorer might be asked to look north or to look east. Those are standard direction labels. So we need some direction labels for thinking. What are the different directions in which thinkers can be invited to look?

This is were the hats come in. Each hat symbolizes a thinking direction. De Bono’s six hats are:

  • White Hat: is neutral and objective, concerned with objective facts and figures.
  • Red Hat: relates to intuition, emotions & opinion.
  • Black Hat: is gloomy, and covers the negative – why things can’t be done.
  • Yellow Hat: symbolizes brightness and optimism, indicating hope and positive thinking.
  • Green Hat: focuses on creativity: the possibilities, alternatives and new ideas.
  • Blue Hat: is concerned with the control and organization of the thinking process.

Thats all about the Six Hats. But where does Google fit in?

Lets take a look at the Google logo:

If we apply the Six Hat approach to interpret the logo, we get:

  • 2 blues: signifying the unified and organized thinking process at Google.
  • 2 reds: signifies that they value intuition, emotions, opinions of the users. Outputting innovative products by not just their brains but their hearts as well. This is evident from the simplistic and intuitive UI designs of Google Search and Gmail.
  • 1 yellow: symbolizes their optimistic outlook, hoping that every new product would bring them one step closer to their ultimate aim and that is to organize the worlds information.
  • 1 green: new ideas, alternatives, innovation…Well, thats Google :)

Conclusion

The above interpretation of the logo actually seems to be in sync with the current image of Google and the prevalent mindset of the average googler. Did I just unearth Google’s success formula?

Hope so :)

I’ll let the statistics speak for themselves.

Larry Page Sergey Brin

Larry Vs Sergey
Ah! And how can I forget Bill Gates. Lets see how he fairs in front of the whiz kids.

Larry Page Bill Gates

Larry Vs Bill

Sergey Brin Bill Gates

Larry Vs Bill

Read the Memcached Documentation here.

Memcached is a high-performance, distributed memory object caching system, generic in nature, but intended for use in speeding up dynamic web applications by alleviating database load.

I have been exploring Memcached as a prospective cache for my project. It seems to be the panacea for all my caching problems. What is missing though is a detailed explanation or HowTo’s. I have been scouring the mailing list and the web for getting a detailed explanation on its working. I have aggregated all such information into a document which could be used by others like me in understanding Memcached.

I will be updating this document as and when I find something that would aid in understanding Memcahed better.

Read the Memcached Documentation here.

Understanding Tacit Knowledge

| September 25th, 2006

I chanced upon an article by Jon Udell titled ‘The tacit dimension of tech support‘ which gave me an insight on tacit knowledge, knowledge that people use implicitly without even realizing it. Understanding this so called tacit knowledge will aid us in designing systems that are more intuitive and user friendly. Tacit knowledge is of two kinds, the first kind is knowing how to do things and the second, knowing how to find out how to do things.

Knowing How To Do Things

If I want to refine my search I know I can find the feature in something called the Advanced Search.

Knowing How To Find Out How To Do Things

If I want to refine my search at a particular site I can always Google about it.

Change Your Perspective

Determining the above knowledge for the target audience of your product could determine how sticky the users stay to your product. Usually while designing systems, the developers rely on their tacit knowledge which is not quite the same as that of the non-techie users. This particularly holds true to User Interface design. I have been part of many discussions on UI design for one of my projects. I have often argued on things like ‘we should have that link there and not here‘ because that seemed more reasonable to me. What I didn’t realize was that these arguments were based on my tacit knowledge and not that of a typical user.

Developers need to change their outlook and keep the above in mind the next time they go around designing systems.