Glimpse with ASP.NET

glimpse-with-asp-net-header

The moment I say Glimpse with asp.net, .Net developers might start thinking that I am talking about some features of Asp.net. But I am actually talking about “Glimpse” – an open source tool that helps in web debugging and diagnosing Asp.net 4.0 applications.

Why Glimpse:

Glimpse provides information such as:

  • Action called
  • Time taken to execute the method
  • Time taken to execute an SQL script etc.

You folks might have already used web debugging tools like Fiddler or even browser debugging tools like Firebug, Chrome F12 developer tools etc. Fiddler would just provide you with details of the web traffic such as HTTP Request, HTTP Response etc. The significant difference between these tools and Glimpse is that Glimpse runs on the server side while all the other developer tools run on client side. Glimpse could also be used in a production environment as a profiling tool to get a Timeline view of what’s happening in the server.

Adding Glimpse to your project is pretty simple. You can add this through a Nuget package manager as shown below:

glimpse-with-asp-net-picture1

You can also install this through the Package Manager Console using the commands given below:

Install-package Glimpse.MVC2

Install-package Glimpse.EF4.3

It is important to select the right Nuget packages for your project types. For example, you should select Glimpse.MVC2 if your project type is MVC2. There are also a lot of plugins available from the community that you can use Glimpse with.

Glimpse could be used with multiple web frameworks, such as Webforms, MVC, ADO, Entity Framework etc. Glimpse.Asp.net’s latest version is 1.9.0.

One more significant aspect of Glimpse is that it can provide server details, timing details about the action methods and also help in debugging callbacks.

Once you have installed Glimpse through Nuget, you can start using it by turning on Glimpse through Glimpse.axd (HTTP handler file) as shown below:

glimpse-with-asp-net-picture2

You can also configure the tabs as shown in the above screen shot.

Once you turn Glimpse on, you can find Glimpse at the bottom right of the page as shown below:

glimpse-with-asp-net-picture3

Glimpse provides the timing for each server side activity and displays it visually as shown below:
glimpse-with-asp-net-picture4

Once you add Glimpse into your project, this internally adds Glimpse related configuration settings into the web.config. You can use these settings to remove tabs and also for security policies.

There are plenty of other uses from Glimpse like Route Debugging, Tracing etc. But I would like you to explore this yourself by trying Glimpse. And don’t forget to share them with us through the ‘Comments’ section below!

References:
http://getglimpse.com/Docs/

What this store did to their customer’s enquiry was absolute genius! A lesson in customer experience for everyone!

a-lesson-in-customer-experience-for-everyone-banner

Let me tell you the story about Lily.

One day, Lily Robinson, three and a half year old, was walking around the aisles of Sainsbury’s super market with her mother. When her mother picked up some tiger bread, a popular brand of bread, Lily had a question which comes naturally owing to the curiosity of a kid.

She asked her mom, “Why is this called tiger bread? This looks like a giraffe bread to me.”
Lily was referring to the patterns baked on the bread, which in fact resembled the pattern on a giraffe than that of a tiger. Her mom said, “Maybe you should ask them.” And she did. She wrote a letter, presumably with the help of her mom, to the 145 year old, £798M super market chain of 1200 stores.

“Why is tiger bread called tiger bread? It should be called giraffe bread. Love from Lily Robinson age 3 and 1/2″.

a-lesson-in-customer-experience-for-everyone-lilly-letter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, this letter probably wouldn’t raise more than a couple of chuckles before it went into some file of the corporation.

But Chris King, from Sainsbury’s customer service thought it was a brilliant idea. He wrote back to her.

a-lesson-in-customer-experience-for-everyone-sainsburys-letter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I think renaming tiger bread giraffe bread is a brilliant idea – it looks much more like the blotches on a giraffe than the stripes on a tiger, doesn’t it?” He went on to explain, “It is called tiger bread because the first baker who made it a looong time ago thought it looked stripey like a tiger. Maybe they were a bit silly.”

He included a gift card and signed off the letter, “Chris King (age 27 & 1/3)”

Her mom, put the letters on her blog and in couple of weeks, it struck a chord with many and went viral. There was a facebook page set up, Chris King was celebrated as a legend and the internet stood by the logic of this three year old. In a couple of months, owing to the ‘overwhelming response from its customers’, the 145 year old corporation, changed the name of tiger bread to giraffe bread.

a-lesson-in-customer-experience-for-everyone-supermarket

This story speaks volumes of how Sainsbury’s treats its customers and also exemplifies how each customer deserves to be treated. Unfortunately, not in our everyday lives we come across such incidents where the customer is valued and considered as the pivot point in a business.

a-lesson-in-customer-experience-for-everyone-lili-giraffe

Forget listening to the customers, can you even find where the bread section is in a supermarket without walking around the place three times and asking someone in vain?
We hear or even have gone through nightmarish experiences with these business establishments.

In this age of the customer, where they demand customized, individual care, it is absolutely impossible for any business to sustain unless they start listening to its customers.

Always remember, the customer is king!

By Harikrishnan Menon

The “Designer” Vocabulary

A look at the language of communicating a design today in a connected world.

Designer Expectations

Recently I found a very interesting post titled “Designers Who Don’t Talk Like Designers Get Hired”. The particular paragraph in question was:

“Many designers talk to businesses from a designer’s perspective. This results in lost contracts, poor communication, and feeling as though design is unappreciated by the client. It turns out that by learning to take a business perspective, designers can win more contracts, earn more from their work, and be more valued.”

There were some interesting debates and opinions within our design team about the tone and content of that post.

Personally, I thought the author was making a valid point albeit what appears to be a generalizing statement about the design community at large.

This brought us to the point of this topic which is, how do we define a designer today? What really are mindsets and skill sets of people with specific roles like user researcher, interaction designervisual designer,user experience designercustomer experience designercontent designer, front end designer, etc.

What language should any of these above designers speak? Should they be aware of the skillsets of each other? Is it about being a jack of all trades or a master of all?

To me, everything boils down to the simple fact that a designer today is mostly supporting three goals.

Fact: Like it or not, in most cases, the business is in it to make money by:

By selling a product or products… to make money. Example: Amazon
Providing a service… to make money. Example: Uber
Making systems efficient so that people are productive and hence enable the business… to make more money. Example: UXPin, Basecamp

Cool companies

Three examples of cool companies creating great experiences to make more money. AmazonUber and Basecamp.

Understanding how these goals trickle down to the smallest detail is I think, the big part in anything we design… including how we communicate the design or the approach.

Without undermining the importance of aesthetics in any way, I think using the right vocabulary to communicate a design to a business is extremely important. It is the “why’s” and “as a result of which…” in the conversation.

The dialogue really is about things like why the color, why the layout, why the SVG or why that size?

Should a designer only be communicating in the language of aesthetics? What is the real design problem?

  1. Am I, as a designer making choices that make 5 secs of someones time productive?
  2. Am I, as a designer making choices about how those choices affect the performance of the experience? Is it a designer’s problem?
  3. Am I, as a designer worrying about the perception of everything on the screen as perceived by the user?
  4. Am I, as a designer worrying about where and how the solution is going to be consumed?
  5. Am I, as a designer worrying about the design being scalable and future proof?

Do I as a designer understand the business? Do I need to understand the business?

In the end, I think as designers we need to clearly justify the reasoning behind our designs in a language of ‘gains’. What do you as a business gain by me as a designer communicating a design choice. It is about me as a designer understanding all aspects of a user centered design process and using that insight to support a design decision or approach.

The fact that things have to be aesthetically neat and current are prerequisites to me. There is tremendous effort in visual research and design but they are not value adds. You have to do it. To communicate a design solution just on the basis of aesthetics is not the right way in my opinion.

To support the original article that led to this post, It’s almost like me applying for a chef position in a restaurant with the leading line in my resume that says I cook really well.

Food for thought?

By Jatin Shah
UX Architect at Aditi Technologies
Twitter

Footie and Techie Meet to Create the Future of Football

The quadren1nial event that brings the world to a standstill – the ‘FIFA World Cup’ was recently held in Brazil. It was one of the most widely viewed sporting events across the world. The tournament has seen a lot of changes since its inception in 1930- in its format, the number of participating teams, rules, etc.

Moments of brilliance

In today’s day and age, like everything else, technology plays a very important role in a team’s success. Technology has evolved a lot since the first World Cup was played in 1930. From having the 1954 tournament televised for the first time, to having an estimated 26.29 billion viewers watch the 2006 tournament, to goal line technology being introduced this year, things have indeed come a long way.

Playing footie with technology

For the first time in history, the 2014 World Cup saw the use of SMAC (social media, mobility, analytics and cloud) on a large scale. All major professional clubs around the world used data analytics to help improve their team’s performance. Right from training sessions to live matches, huge chunks of data were collected and analyzed. Many top ranking clubs had tied up with software firms to analyze the data collected. Using this data, the analysts were able to provide vital statistical information to the clubs. Live matches provided billions of data points which were analyzed to gauge the team’s performance.

Mapping it all

On a typical football field, there are about 24 cameras to provide live streaming of the match (there are also player cams which allow a person watching at home to watch a particular player’s movement across the field), there are various behind the scenes cameras that capture about ten data points per player, every second. These are the ones that make the statistics visually appealing to us.

To keep the viewers glued to their television screens, TV networks have football pundits analyze the game. Typically there is a pre match analysis, half time analysis and post-match analysis, all beamed live across countries. With the help of data analysis software that has been designed to crunch the live data points, the pundits are able to seamlessly analyze the performance of key players and the team as a whole. Match stats like goals scored, total shots, shots on target, offside, fouls, yellow/red cards are pretty simple data points that one can track over the duration of the match. Other stats like total distance covered by each player and the team, player speed profiles, player movement tracing, visualized passes (attempted and converted), and heat mapping, etc. are provided by these software using real-time data measurements.

Real-time data measurements have now been adopted in the training schedules. Here, trackers and sensors are used across the training field on the goal posts, players, ball, etc. and each player is given a number of sensors. These trackers and sensors send out live data, which is analyzed in real time. One of the advantages of using data analytics is in helping reduce the risk of player injuries. The data points collected from these sessions and matches are analyzed and using these it is possible to reduce the risk of player injuries due to overload in training, etc. It is also used to help players address their weaknesses.

Apart from the above examples, data analytics is used to scout players, study opponents, analyze the season’s performance, examine players’ work rate and for many more practical applications. Betting companies also use analytics to derive the odds and predict match results. Companies like Prozone, SAP, Opta, and Kizanaro are a few that develop mapping software.

Getting mobile and social

In today’s digital age, social media and mobility too has its fair share in the future of this beautiful game. They provide the perfect platform for football clubs to reach out to their fans, keep them updated with all the latest news, match day programs, get constant feedback from fans among others. All teams have their official pages on all social networking sites giving constant updates. Match days see a lot of buzz in social media right from live match updates to posting selfies by both fans and players alike.

It’s amazing how technology binds things together and helps us get multiple perspectives of the game. Do the geeks at Aditi have anything more to add in to this? If yes, we would love to hear from you.

Below are a few things that might interest our geeky football fans:

World Cup in the Social Media:

  • More than 261,026 tweets for Pepe’s red card
  • 2 million tweets for WC opener between Brazil and Croatia
  • 1,967,657 tweets mentioning Mexico goalie Ochoa during the Brazil vs. Mexico match
  • More than 2.1 billion searches on Google related to World Cup
  • 6 million tweets, during the semifinal between Brazil & Germany – The single most discussed game ever on Twitter
  • Overall a record of 672 million tweets during the tournament
  • 6,18,715 tweets/minute during the final
  • More than 3 billion interactions on Facebook during the course of the tournament

By Pradeep Narendran