Back to Profile: Karim


  • Alan Cooper - Questions after his keynote

    Shark_M wrote:
    Yeah but you should give the doctor a feed back as to what is the best way to heal your injured arm. A doctor could solve the problem just by giving you pain killers, that would stop the "Complaining", and the problem would appear as gone for you. But the arm is still broken! Or a doctor might just solve it by amputating it, instead of healing the broken bone! SO  the expert  can only present "Possibilities" or spectrum of possibilites to the customer, and let the cusomter choose which possibility or option to go about and producing a solution to the posted problem.  This has a basis in the Scientific Theory itself. You have to get feedback to know what is the best answer to the problem.

    What you call "feedback," I call describing a problem.  "It hurts when I move my arm this way, but not that way."  What you don't want to do is tell the doctor "the best way to heal your injured arm."  That's the doctor's job.  Did you go to Medical School?

    Real doctors do not fix broken arms by amputating them.  (Or at least, not competent ones.)  But if your doctor runs tests and your broken arm turns out to be gangrenous, your doctor might NEED to amputate to save your life, even though you would be telling your doctor, "All I need is some more Percoset."  Big Smile

    Bottom line, it's a cooperative process, but at some point you have to decide who knows more, who's doing the design, who's driving the bus.  If you know more than your doctor, why are you going to a doctor?

    Shark_M wrote:

    There are many expert companies that produced solutions, that would work and all, but they did not work well for the intended people....

    Either poor implementation, or poor design, or failure to understand the original problem.  Usually it's the latter...

    Shark_M wrote:
    The Information Technology sector is growing, more and more people are becomming mini-experts on computers, and they know alot than before. So what if 80% of the end users are experts, would you not want to tell them how a tool was made, or what would be a good way to go about producing a solution? Option A or Option B?

    The "savvy" people can be the worst, because sometimes they think they know it all.  "I once launched Microsoft Access, therefore I know relational database design."

    Shark_M wrote:

    I mean when you did a project for some customer, dont you first have an outline of the project, and show the pathway to getting the project done to the customer?

    No, the first thing I do is listen.  And take notes.  And ask questions.  I try to understand the problem really, really well, before I get anywhere near having "an outline of the project."

    Once I'm at the point where I can describe the problem in my own words, the customer's eyes light up and they go "Yes!  Finally, someone who understands the problem." 

    The best doctors are the ones who take the time to listen as well.

    Shark_M wrote:

    Customers should be shown and asked "What is best for you. If i place a TreeView or aListview, or a radio button, or a check mark".

    I think that's incredibly scary.  LOL

    The Doctor doesn't say, "What is best for you?  Xanax, Percoset, or Aspirin?"  Those drugs do different things.

    Treeviews, Listviews, Radio Buttons and Checkboxes all do different things.  They don't substitute for one another.  For hierarchical structures, you'd use a Treeview.  For a series of exclusive choices, you'd use Radio Buttons, etc.  I've seen those hellish applications where someone implemented Checkboxes instead of Radio Buttons because the customer thought Checkboxes were prettier, or whatever.

    Again, the task is to know the problem in sufficient detail so that you KNOW (as a Designer) whether to use a Treeview, or Listview, or whatever -- not to ask the customer what they prefer.
  • Alan Cooper - Questions after his keynote

    staceyw wrote:
    Much of that was crazy talk.  Some was right.  Thing is, you can't go to a user after a year of work and only then see if works for them.  Isn't that the kind of thing people are moving away from for that exact reason?

    He did say, "You never show users prototypes!"  Big Smile  But then he added,

    "There's an asterisk on 'never...'  I mean... when you're doing refinement, at a very focused, tiny level -- like if you're trying to say, 'Ok, should this be a... do you click and drag this with the LEFT mouse button, or the RIGHT mouse button?'  Ok, those are the kind of things you can user test.  Ok?  But, 'Should this be draggable, or not?'  'Should it be present?'  'Should it be manipulatable?'  'Should the user be exposed to this?' -- these are the bigger issues.  These, you don't solve through prototyping.  And you certainly don't solve them in the presence of users.  Oh my God -- it's like coding in the presence of users.  'Shouldn't that be a comma, instead of a semicolon...?'  I mean, what -- [laughs] what's that?" 

    When you buy a car, they let you pick out the color, the interior, the radio etc.  While the car is being designed, the car company doesn't give the customer a whole lot of input into the final drive ratio or whether the camshaft should have solid lifters or hydraulic ones...

    Shark_M wrote:
    I disagree on some of his points. I mean you need customers to tell you what they want. Isnt The Product Feed back and the interaction of the customers and the developer division at Microsoft there to get ideas of what the customers want?

    Most customers don't know what they want.  Quote: "THE USERS DON'T KNOW!!!"  What they do know, usually, is how to describe a problem they have: "Searching Outlook takes too long."  "I have too many icons on my desktop."  etc. 

    It's like the broken arm analogy -- when you go to the Doctor, you don't say, "Write me a prescription for X."  That would be assuming that YOU KNOW what you want.  Instead, you go to the Doctor and you say, "It hurts when I do this."  Then you let the Doctor -- the expert -- decide how to fix the problem.

    One is imperative: Give me what I want!

    The other is declarative: Here is the problem I am having.

    Doctors and designers both have to be good listeners at first, not to understand what the user "wants" as a solution -- but to understand the problem.

    It's Where do you want to go today?  Not How do you want to get there?  Big Smile

    To the extent that end users do really know what they want, it's probably just refinement of an existing solution.

    Great video, C9 Team...
  • Otto Berkes - Origami's Architect gives first look at Ultramobile PCs

    brian.shapiro wrote:
    Karim wrote:

    Battery life is just one factor.

    Take laptops, for example.  For a long time, vendors did not make laptops that used "desktop" CPUs (i.e. non-mobile parts) because they thought the same as you: who's going to want a laptop that has no "SpeedStep" or mobile power management?  It's going to be hot, heavy, and because the CPU is always going at 100%, it's going to have next to no battery life.

    Well, as it turns out there was a demand for those laptops once they were made.  Why?  Because they were cheap.  Once the price dropped past a certain point, people apparently decided they would just deal with the low battery life, high heat & heavy weight.

    Karim not everyone who buys a notebook wants to carry it to the park and use it on park benches or use it on his bed with the power supply unplugged. I have a desktop replacement notebook, I want a notebook so its semi-portable, so I can take it with me when I travel, so I can bring it to libraries with a scanner, etc.  In all cases I take it with me and plug it in somewhere else. I assume people who buy low-end notebooks with low battery life care about the same thing, and don't need it running on batteries most of the time.

    The only market for a mini-tablet is one where you can carry it around without having to plug it in.

    I never said anything about people wanting to carry a notebook to a park...  First off, you seem to be saying there's a valid market for systems with a low battery life, because that's what you bought, and you don't need it running on batteries most of the time, but then you turn around and say the only market for a "mini-tablet" is where that's not true?  Perplexed

    Obviously the Origami has a battery and obviously you can carry it around without plugging it in.  Nobody's saying it doesn't have a battery.  I was responding to the point that "battery life is key" to the success of this thing.  My point was that once you drop below a certain price point, battery life is a factor, but it isn't the KEY factor or deciding factor in purchasing the device.

    brian.shapiro wrote:

    I'll repeat why I haven't bought a tablet, evne though I'd like the functionality: I'm paying more for a less powerful notebook, that would substitute for another notebook. Plus I would only use the tablet functions 5% of the time. 

    Well, I'm not sure that's necessarily true; there are powerful Tablet PCs out there such as the Toshiba M4 and new dual-core M400.  The Compaq TC4200 (which hopefully will get a Core Duo upgrade soon) is no slouch on benchmarks either.

    Not sure how you know you'd use the "tablet functions" only 5% of the time if you haven't ever bought one... Still, at this point Tablet PC isn't for everyone.  Maybe it's not for you....

    brian.shapiro wrote:

    With a device like Origami it would be nice to be $500 but if its $1000 its not so critical if it has high battery life. If you can have a device like this with high battery life and is portable, its still a good price range, as something to buy in addition to your notebook/desktop. Otherwise its not worth getting. Thats why battery life is critical.

    You lost me, sorry.  Big Smile  And how do you define "high battery life?"  Are you saying Origami needs to go all day between recharges to be "worth getting?"  Is 5 hours high?  Is 3?

    These things are really subjective.  Again, my point was that manufacturers missed out on an entire market segment because they overvalued battery life.  If battery life was always "key," Apple would have never sold an iPod Tongue Out

  • Otto Berkes - Origami's Architect gives first look at Ultramobile PCs

    brian.shapiro wrote:

    Why do you want everything looking extremely tiny on a mobile device? Especially when its touch/pen based? Higher resulution makes sense if you're talking about scalable GUIs like those promised with Vista/XAML. But I don't want a tiny crowded interface on a mini-tablet, which is what you would get on XP with high resolutions

    Well Vista is exactly what I had in mind.  Are you going to buy one of these and leave it running XP for the next three years?

    Even if you never went to Vista, I don't think 1024 x 768 would be unusable on a 7-inch display, but YMMV.  You'd be able to view a LOT more web pages without scrolling or messing with hardware scaling settings.  Apps with a lot of palettes & child windows, like Photoshop, or Visual Studio, are somewhat usable at 1024 x 768 -- but 800 x 480?!?  And with more pixels, you'd have a better e-book (ClearType), better gaming, better movie viewing...
  • Otto Berkes - Origami's Architect gives first look at Ultramobile PCs

    CSGuy wrote:
    Richard Forss wrote: Is it possible to rotate device around from landscape to portrait in order to take notes in a meeting with OneNote?

    My question exactly. Done right, this might be the 500$ Student Tablet PC Bill Gates mentioned in his first Channel 9 interview (the one with Scoble)

    There aren't a whole lot of pictures showing someone using an Origami in portrait mode... but there's one up on UMPC.com:

    Lower left image shows portrait + keyboard.  Cool!

  • Otto Berkes - Origami's Architect gives first look at Ultramobile PCs

    tmarman wrote:
    As I said yesterday, battery life is key. 3 hours and $1000 isn't going to cut it.... it's sort of no man's land.

    Battery life is just one factor.

    Take laptops, for example.  For a long time, vendors did not make laptops that used "desktop" CPUs (i.e. non-mobile parts) because they thought the same as you: who's going to want a laptop that has no "SpeedStep" or mobile power management?  It's going to be hot, heavy, and because the CPU is always going at 100%, it's going to have next to no battery life.

    Well, as it turns out there was a demand for those laptops once they were made.  Why?  Because they were cheap.  Once the price dropped past a certain point, people apparently decided they would just deal with the low battery life, high heat & heavy weight.
  • Otto Berkes - Origami's Architect gives first look at Ultramobile PCs

    So finally the wraps come off... Cool

    Biggest disappointment is the resolution.  It's basically a Tablet PC with 800 x 480 resolution.  The hardware scaling will help, but... at the end of the day it's still stuffing 10 pounds of stuff in a 5-pound bag...  Having 1024 x 768 on the VGA output will help: you can plug it into a monitor, use a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse and get some work done.

    Second biggest disappointment is the processor speed: ~1 GHz.  On a Tablet PC, that means "usable, mostly."  You will be able to do stuff, but it will be painfully slow at times.

    Biggest pleasant surprise: some models will have 3.5" hard drives.  Carrying around 120 GB of content is pretty compelling, and something your iPod can't do.  (Yet.)

    Yes, it's "not an iPod killer," but if you can run iTunes on it... who needs an iPod?  Big Smile  Also, does anyone else remember a program someone wrote for the Pocket PC/Windows CE platform?  It was a media player that emulated the iPod UI on a PPC touchscreen.  The scrollwheel worked and everything Big Smile  Of course Apple sued it out of existence in 60 seconds.  Not like a PPC had 30 GB of disk space anyway.  Of course, now that Origami has as much disk space as an iPod... finally Microsoft has a handheld device with a touchscreen and large hard disk.  How long before that application comes back and someone just draws a picture of an iPod on the Origami display and turns it into an iPod? [6]

    Other pleasant surprises: Intel processor (not Transmeta); Windows XP Tablet Edition; USB; Bluetooth; VGA output at XGA+ resolutions.  It's 3-year-old Tablet PC technology being offered at half-price, half-size, half-weight...

    It's a new category of system.  I'm wondering whether it will be able to carve out a place for itself, because laptops are now down in the Origami price range -- $600-$1,000.   For the same price you get a faster processor, plus a larger screen with a higher resolution.  If you have $800 to spend on a mobile computer, what's the more compelling choice...?  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    For people with higher end needs, there is presumably still Tablet PC, but it's possible to imagine the low end of the Tablet PC market being cannibalized by Origami...
  • Windows Sideshow Team - Auxiliary Displays (new laptop feature coming next year)

    Soooo... the display firmware is the same as on my SPOT watch, it has a mini-CLR and uses managed code...

    ...but to write to the display, I need to use Win32 and COM???

    Perplexed <forehead slap>

    Could someone please create a nice, easy .NET wrapper so we can use a nice, easy .NET namespace to code for these things?  Pleeeease?  The irony is just too much to bear if it the firmware runs managed code but you write to the display using unmanaged code.  It would be like buying a house built by Frank Lloyd Wright and then decorating it with furniture from Wal-Mart and paintings of dogs playing poker.

    Also that bit about Outlook exporting to iCalendar was interesting & worth expanding on.  Is Vista's support for iCal going to catch up to OS X?

  • Paul Vick and Amanda Silver - VB Language Futures

    JChung2006 wrote:

    Amanda is quite striking though I imagine it can get irritating to have geeks fawn over her appearance instead of what she is saying.

    I have that same problem.  Sometimes... *sniff*... I just want women to love me for my MIND... *sniff*

    [dabs corners of eyes with Kleenex]
  • Paul Vick and Amanda Silver - VB Language Futures

    Re Amanda's comment at 56:34...

    Garth: So, Wayne, who do we have on today?

    Wayne: Well, Garth, today we're going to learn all about computer programming.  Please welcome our guest, Paul Vick from Microsoft.

    [Amanda Silver walks on stage, takes a seat]

    Wayne: You're not Paul Vick.  You're a babe.

    Garth: If you were a statement, you'd be Person.Babe = True.

    Wayne: Dim Guest as New Babe.  Okay, party.  Bonus.

    Amanda: Uh... I'm Amanda Silver... Paul couldn't make it, so he sent me to teach you all about Visual Basic.

    [Wayne and Garth glance nervously at each other]

    We're not worthy!!!  We're not worthy!!!

  • Anders Hejlsberg - LINQ

    Cool!  So what I'm seeing is, C# finally has a Variant data type?  Nice to see they're catching up to VB 6.0.  LOL

    Just kidding.  I did hear the words "strongly typed" used repeatedly.

    But it's interesting to see the productivity people had with the older VB (where you did not have to worry about data types) combined with the robustness of C# (where you do have to worry about data types) -- but now it's the compiler that does the worrying for you.

    That in itself is going to be a huge win.  All those null vs. dbnull vs. empty string bugs... GONE.

    The fact that it's universal... wow.  Now maybe when I code against Outlook I can stop messing with collections and enumerators and retrieve the items I want in 5 lines of code instead of 50... using the same syntax I use to query databases...
  • Manuel Clement and others - Introducing Sparkle

    Jobs:  And then I want to see the 4th quarter figures for --

    (Jobs bows his head, clutches his chest)

    Igor: Is everything alright, master?

    Jobs:  I just sensed... someone using the phrase "Macintosh-style."  Unleash the lawyers.  Immediately.

    Igor: Yes, master.