The Be-Boring Experiment

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I have been in a creative slump recently. I have been procrastinating by watching endless hours of sitcoms, browsing articles on my unending RSS feed and lurking around on Facebook. In one of my marathon reading sessions, I stumbled up on this article – Q&A with Austin Kleon, artist and author, ‘Show Your Work!’. In his book Steal Like An Artist, Austin talks about the value of being boring. He said, that the principle of “Being Boring” was inspired by a quote by Gustave Falkland –

Be regular and orderly in your life so you can be violent and original in your work. Continue reading

Ending the writing hiatus

It’s been almost a year since I last updated this blog. There’s so much that has happened since then – I quit working at Techved, enjoyed a good 2 month vacation, came to Pittsburgh and since then, it’s been a roller coaster ride at CMU.

I have been writing on and off in my Evernote journal. But I have a strong urge to get back to writing more seriously in this blog. I’ve realized that to be a good designer, it’s important that I constantly reflect on my design practice, share what I learn and write a lot. It’s very important to be able to communicate effectively as a designer. I believe that it’s even more important to regularly share what I’m working on. It’s a good way to keep myself motivated to keep creating regularly. Continue reading

Cubicles and Casinos

I have read that Casinos employ a simple strategy to keep people trapped inside for hours without making them realize it. Casinos have no windows. People don’t realize how long they have been playing because there is no natural indication of time. The sun may set and the moon may shine but the casino remains delightfully consistent – bright, colorful, loud and carnival like.

On growing up

Over the past few days, I have been reflecting on what it means to “grow up and be an adult”. It stems from the fact that these days, I am learning to realize that you cant always have what you want and whining about it won’t get you anywhere; only taking full responsibility for your actions will yield results. As these conflicts rumbled in my head, one day it just distilled into a short ramble. Here goes -

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On turning 23, responsibilty and relationships

“You are an adult now Rohan. You need to learn that you are now responsible for all your actions – whether it be work, education or more importantly, your relationships”

This is what my dad told me on my 23rd birthday. I think he stressed on that last one because he knows that I am decently sorted at work. It struck a chord with me because it made me reflect on how I’ve been treating my relationships with people. I can be very immature at times with people. It’s ironical because till a few years back, I considered myself to be more mature than most of the people my age.

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The perfect To Do system

I’m a recent todo list convert. Ever since my GRE prep, I’ve realized that to be productive I ought to track my progress and have a fixed plan of action for each day.

With GRE, time management was easy because I only had to use my laptop, had clearly defined slots of 30mins each and straightforqard categories. However, with life, such objectivity and rigidity is rarely found. Hence, I began my pursuit of finding the perfect todo system for tracking my time and scheduling todos. After almost a month of searching and trying out different systems, I’ve realized that there is NO perfect system out there. You have to figure out what kind of a system you want and adapt to the various options available in the market. However, it can also mean that there is an untapped market for the kind of requirements I’m seeking.

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Why current paradigms for commenting suck.

For a long time, I’ve been thinking superficially about the interaction design of commenting systems on the web. I’ve long been irritated by the structure of basic commenting tools and am sure most other web folk feel the same way. The problem is so bad that currently, there are rarely any articles with 20+ comments which provide a useful addendum to the main article. One assumption to note here is that my irritation arises in the context that a commenting tool is a means to discuss, debate and add to the main article.

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