Moving ahead with the five competitive forces, with Michael Porter

Michael Porter

An interview with Michael Porter on the five competitive forces and its modern contemporary take. He speaks on the significance of the framework in today’s business. He also speaks of way by which business can handle strategy to meet tomorrows competitive needs.

Being Cross Cultural In A Global Economy

Being Cross Cultural In A Global Economy

One of the offshoots of being global in our business, in today world, is that we have infused cross-cultural paradigm into the manner in which we do business globally. But have businesses been successful in handling these cultural cross overs or are there challenges which have been overlooked, if not ignore?

Here is an interesting conversation on HBR podcast with Erin Meyer.

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Do I need to have a responsive UI for my website?

Responsive Design

Being responsive assists you become dependable to your customers.

I intend to throw some light on responsive design and the though process that should go behind developing a responsive website. I hope it will allow the business stakeholders make a informed decision.

Responsive design allows a website to intelligently morph its UI to acomodate itself on the screen of the device the user would access it from. There is a lot more happening other than a mere rearrangement of the layout to facilitate the screen size.

Take a look at which is a very good example of a well applied responsive design to a website. If you are loading this website in a desktop browser, try and reduce the size of the browser window and see what happens. Well … that folks, is a responsive design.

Benefits of a responsive design
Here are some of the highlights of the benefits of a good responsive design.

  • You have to design and maintain a single website to cater to all possible device access.
  • The overall cost of development and maintenance is low.
  • In all probability, you would have optimized the site, not only for performance but also for content display and interactions.

Risks of a badly integrated responsive design
There are several risks associated with responsive design. Its not applicable for all websites. Not in the traditional sense. Here are some risks that you should be aware of.

  • For data and script heavy sites, there can be performance drops on small screen devices
  • The design breaks or is not compatible with certain browser types. This would result in a bad experience to the end user.
  • Maintaining the website becomes hell with limited or no documentation or process in place.
  • User drop rates can affect your business

No business would want their customers to be driven away. While responsive design may provide benefits for the business. They get negated when the customers or users experience a bad website interaction.

An hybrid solution – Server Side Optimization
Responsive design has its benefits which cannot be ignored. one should distinctly identify family of devices that can experience almost similar experiences and cater to these distinct groups in a responsive manner. Server side scripts can manage response to the page requests depending on the source device. Depening on which device family these requests come from, specific UI can be pushed to that device. This ensures that your site will optimally peform on the device/browser and the responsiveness of the page scripts at the client side will ensure that the experience will get managed locally.

How stories help build a experience

Every product has a experience to offer. Be it a software or a hardware product. People dealing with industrial design will know better. Even the service industry has customer experience as the fulcrum of their service design. So, why then is it that software should be any different? Its used by people and they can be for personal consumption or business or exerprise objectives. What ever the purpose, there is a value proposition that the software offers to the user.

So how does one go about building a good experience for their product? The answer is actually quite simple in essense. Give them value proposition and a feeling that it was made keeping them in mind.

Value proposition
So what is valued by the user? There are various possible values that you can deliver.

  • product features
  • user experience
  • aesthetics
  • intuitiveness
  • effective delivery

Tailor-made for them
This is the icing on the cake. And this is where your product design tells a story. Remember the stories your mother or grandmother told you when you were a kid. Remember your excitement even when the same story got repeated again and again. why was it so? the story had the same ending, the moral was the same and the person telling you the story was also the same. But the experience that you got from listening to the story never diminished in excitement or intrigue. That is the highlight of a good expeirence.

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Make failure your tool

Failure as a Tool

Failure as a Tool

Found this interesting sketched diagram explaining failure as a tool. Its an intuitive mind map, of sort, addressing learning, growth, innovation, strategy and success. To fail is to learn. To learn you need to attempt at taking risk. To take risk you need to do try to do something that others still have not attempted to try and make it work. Its all interconnected.

Fear of failure is the biggest outcome that we as professionals dread. Its this fear that stagnantes us from attempting what other do. This risk appetite is what separates the leader from the follower, the genius from the masses and the progressive from the conformist.

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Best Practices, When Collecting User’s Contact Number

How to collect phone numbers

We all encounter online forms or information boxes where we are asked to fill in our phone numbers. Its a small and yet crucial piece of information for the business. And most importantly, for the user who would be sharing his/her most critical and private information with you.

As a business you need to ensure that the user provides you the information without hesitation and inconvenience. Any doubt in the users mind and he/she would totally avoid making that commitment. So what is one suppose to do? Here, I would like to focus only on the user interface aspect of the process. Two important aspects of this activity are crucial – ease of user and a good experience.

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Dancing to the tune of Pinterest, are you?

It was a tiring day and a tiring experience to see another startup ( fall pray to the Pinterest inspired look. This coming from a start-up that is being promoted by two prominent personalities from the Indian media scene. Yes, I am talking about Shekhar Kapur and A. R. Rehman. Both acclaimed nationally and internationally for their achievements. Their intentions are good and the concept is promising. Then why get into the mediocrity of imitation?

Are you enchanted by Pinterest?

Pinterest has inspired sites to follow its footstep. But is it good for them?
| Artwork from

Pinterest has inspired more than 50 odd sites around the world to follow its path designing a user experience. Designers have gone overboard copying the concept as it is very graphically rich and catchy. That perhaps can be a creative explaination for a designer, but surely not for a business stakeholder.

Here are some pointers for businesses to think when they start looking back at Pinterest as easy road to website design success –

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