• On using flags to represent languages

    Recently, i came across this new website of RockyLinux which is a successor of CentOS as CentOS was killed by RedHat and people wanted a similar operating system that they could rely on.

    One of the former founders of CentOS took on the task of creating the variant of CentOS that people would make together and want.

    They also setup a site rockylinux.org to communicate the projects vision and clarity. Being a global community project, it was obvious to have make the website multilingual. A contributor in the Github repo made a contribution to show the multiple languages by referring to the flags.

    While all this sounds great, another contributor pointed out that using flags for represent languages is not good and in can be offensive as well. He also posted a link to http://www.flagsarenotlanguages.com/blog/why-flags-do-not-represent-language/.

    Flags are not languages is a website by James Offer a UX Designer who has worked extensively on multilingual software. That’s where he shares the learning’s about designing multi-lingual experiences.

    Throughout my design career i never had this consideration that representing languages by flags is not just incorrect but also could be offensive.

    Some of the important reasons are that nations do not equal to languages.

    1. People residing in another country could know other languages that they prefer over other language.
    2. A country may have more than one language that a flag can represent. E.g. India where more than 25 recognized languages are there.
    3. you can read up more in the link that i have posted above.

    As a learning, it is good to use explicit languages instead of country flags. Some other alternatives are also suggested

  • Hire for ability and skills while being cognizant of the contextual limitations.

    I came across this LinkedIn post by Patrick Neeman. As a designer who has worked in multiple contexts i can relate to it. I have worked at large organizations where the design team was in double digits to startups with 2 designers and solo designer. Having seen all the constraints be it business, politics, technology or design maturity, i can appreciate the limitations that designers have in exercising their skills. I have also experienced that the hiring managers do judge candidates basis what candidates did without taking cognizance of the context.

    Some more contexts that the decision makers should be conscious like, access to users, nature of product (Enterprise vs Consumer), focus on interaction with no focus on research.

    Post

    A designer’s success is so much about the situational context that it alone can determine what they were able to deliver in an environment. We judge on delivery versus what was even possible to deliver.

    This needs to change.

    There should be an open conversation about the organization they worked for and whether or not it was even possible to move the needle. Authenticity and transparency should be the rule during interviews, not the exception.

    The situation may take many forms: a code poor base, a non-strategic business model, poor management, or an underfunded UX team that doesn’t have the resources to do their job well.

    All of these are beyond the designer’s control. That should be the start of the conversation, not the end.

    In a realistic world, they’re acknowledged upfront — an excellent way to discover them is the STAR interview format — and then discuss what was learned.

    Candidates can be judged based on the skills they bring to the organization over a Potemkin Village resume that drafts off of others more so than the skills they bring.

    That would level the playing field more that anything else: it would open opportunities up to candidates that have been in difficult environments and shown resilience in the face of adversity versus a big name on the resume.

    Patrick Neeman

    As Patrick rightly puts across, the decision makers which includes recruiters and not just hiring managers, must make this as conscious consideration in their hiring process. It will also contribute if the candidates who experience this, share the concerns with the recruiters.

  • EU banned Tesla from using Auto Pilot in communication

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-tesla-autopilot-germany/german-court-bans-tesla-ad-statements-related-to-autonomous-driving-idUSKCN24F1T5

    So Tesla, has been banned at-least temporarily to not display

    Dieter Rams

    It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.

    Dieter Rams

    Tesla with its lies and deceptive marketing has taken many lives. There are already few cases going on against Tesla for misleading advertising leading to death.

    It said such claims amounted to misleading business practices, adding that the average buyer might be given the impression that the car could drive without human intervention and might suggest such a system was now legal on German roads.

    Reuters
  • The Japanese Formula For Happiness – Ikigai

    So today i came across this You Tube video by Improvement Pill. It effectively talks about the 4 quadrants essential for happiness and how to approach this.

    1. Something you are good at
    2. Something that you love
    3. Something that the world needs
    4. Something that pays you well

    The intersection of these all quadrants gives you Happiness.

    The intersection of some of these quadrants gives:

    1. Passion
    2. Mission
    3. Vocation
    4. Profession

  • How HP screwed my work, literally and figuratively

    Update 8-Feb-2020: the same issue has resurfaced, i have complained to HP again, lets see how shameless are they now.

    The Brand New Laptop

    It was Mid 2018 and i had to buy a new laptop, after a lot of online searches / offline store visits i went ahead and finalized on HP Gaming Pavilion – 15-cx0141tx

    I chose HP because:

    1. I assumed that HP is good in making hardware by itself rather than just assembling it.
    2. HP has good support
    3. I had not so good experiences with my Dell Inspiron 15 R N5110

    Short Review

    The performance of the laptop was okay enough, there were some random freezing issues which lead me to force shutdown the laptop.

    Bad Design Choices

    Keypad Color and Lighting

    The purpose of keypad lighting is so that laptop can be used in night time and evenings so i can see the keys properly. However, this is a complete fail in design.
    The keypad is designed as such that you can not use it during the day without the keypad light on.

    I have less issue with this because i do touch typing and its fine.

    <PHOTO-WITH-LIGHT>

    <PHOTO-WITHOUT-LIGHT>

    Beautiful but Non-durable Hinge

    The makers of this products sacrificed durability in order to make this sleek. This design causes a lot of stress on the hinge and will definitely lead to more issues in this product range.

    3 Months and the hinge broke with regular Home usage.

    Creaking sound

    It was all going good, when suddenly out of the blues the hinge started giving a creaking sound, i was confused and i did not know why that was happening. My father asked me to complain righaway but i ignored

    Gap in the Bezel and screen

    Then few days later i observed a gap in the bezel and the screen on lower end. I thought the glue between the screenframe and bezel has reduced as i could hear the glue clicking when i was pressing in that gap area.

    How i Use my Laptop

    Old Dell laptop and New HP Laptop

    Around 2013 i had bought a Dell Inspiron N 5110 which i did not use with precaution and had got some wear and tear. That was just regular wear and tear and not damages.

    <IMAGE OF OLD DELL LAPTOP>

    For the new HP laptop, i ensured that i wanted to take care of it from the start so i got the

    1. Screen guard
    2. Back cover sticker
    3. Using the cloth lining provided with the laptop when lid was closed.

    <Photo of how used, tissue, cover, stand, protection.>

    Even after this i got the

    Complaint

    I reported the issue to HP Support via WhatsApp Chat and firstly they sent it for checking with some validation team. I waited for few days

    Not Covered

    They did not have the courtesy of updating me, so i followed up and i was informed that it is not covered under warranty

    Consumer is not the King

    So i chatted with them a lot and told them that this is a manufacturing issue and not a damage. Though my device is covered under Accidental Damage Protection.

    Like every helpless customer i went on to social media and expressed my pain.

    We will send technician to check

    After the uproar on Social media they called me up and told me that they will be sending a technician to check the physical device and see if this can be covered under ADP

    <EMAIL SNAPSHOT>

    What you Expect

    Technician Comes after 7 day

    The techician came after 7 days and he instantly understood what the issue was, he peeled of the bezel to expose the inner frame.
    <IMAGE>
    To my shock the plastic which holds the hinge screws together was broken completely.

    <IMAGE GALLERY SHOWING DEFECTIVE PLASTIC>

    What you Get

    HP Pavillion CX0141TX Hardware Hinge
    HP CX0141TX Hinge - Female Plastic Screw Thread Is broken in pieces
    Female Plastic Screw Thread Is broken in pieces

    Bad plastic quality

    You can understand the pathetic quality of plastic that HP is using if it can not bear regular home use for 3 months.

    The technician then told me that the specific part would be replaced and he will come back to install it.

    Laptop without Ribs
    Since 3rd Jan, the technician had left my laptop in a condition and told me not to close the lid as the frame is damaged. Since almost a week now i am just using my laptop as a human without backbone.

    86000 Rupees for a bad plastic laptop, what do i expect ?

    Not much, a replacement

    Now, the least i would expect from the likes of HP is that they would provide me a replacement for such a laptop which was obviously a bad bad hardware.

    If HP India and HP in general really care about Customer Service and their global high standards, they will do so.

    What if this happens again ?

    This laptops hinge design is not durable, meaning the same issue is sure to occur again just in few months. What would happen then ?

    Dell Laptop took 4 years to get the hinge wear out, HP laptop does it in 3 months.

    What an HP Customer does

    An HP Customer does not buy products and use it, an HP Customer buys a faulty/ defective product and writes long blog posts as the only way to reach out and get justice.

    • Write a long blog in hope of justice and help
    • Save others from this pain: Go on every E-Commerce site, Amazon, Flipkart, Croma, HP, PayTM and post reviews about this product so others would be careful and not buy such shitty product.

    If you plan to buy this laptop

    Beware that this could definitely be an issue in the complete product line. My fight will continue.