Microsoft User Experience Community

I had been for a user experience talk at the Microsoft campus in Domlur on Saturday. Microsoft has been promoting user experience practices in India and this talk was an initiative to have a common group of professionals share ideas on online user experience.

This programme is driven by Supreet Singh, a user experience evangelist for Microsoft. My boss was also delivering a talk at this gathering and had invited us over. The session started with the CEO from Apparatus Media Labs, who gave us a presentation on the work executed by his company with special focus on their social networking projects. There were some interesting ideas in the presentation such as a social networking platform where various residential communities could register and share details on their neighbourhood. For example, mention on your community that you will be flying back home on such and such a day. If someone else from the neighbourhood is coming down on the same day, these two persons (who may not know each other) could connect and share a cab back from the airport, thus saving expense and fuel. Small things such as this and other household requirements, especially searching for domestic help in the area, could be cracked using this platform.

One good thing was that there was no talk of web 2.0. I have heard this term dragged through virtually every online seminar and talk and after studying the various facets of this term I truly believe that this term does not need to exist. As Tim Berners Lee explained in his views on Web 2.0, there is no such thing as web 2.0 and this was just a term used to showcase the people to people connection on the web. But that was always the intention of the internet. Ever since its inception, the World Wide Web has been a platform where anyone can improve the online positioning and functioning. You cannot straightjacket the web with terms based on new functions and applications. Innovation is an inherent part of the World Wide Web. Period. A lot of the guys I have heard talking about web 2.0 just didn’t make sense and only succeeded going around in circles. I don’t think anyone yet knows what exactly web 2.0 means.

The presentation by my boss was more from a design perspective with emphasis on the synergy between design and technology. Online work using various media (PPT, portals, virals) was also discussed. Overall a truly interesting evening and looking forward to more seminars like this.

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