September 16, 2007

Mumbai Domestic Airport - The Wow! Experience

I'm in the field of design and user experience, and people sometimes need to be explained what the latter means. Let me start by saying that design is perhaps a subset of user experience. Marketing could also be a part of the user experience as a whole, besides design. To make things simpler, let me use this post to rave about the Mumbai domestic airport experience.

If you remember the domestic airport as a shoddy place where everything was dirty and chaotic, you obviously haven't been there lately. The lower terminal is brand spanking new and has a slick, futuristic design, completely spic and span. From the moment you enter, there's a sense of vast open space, very well lit. Hallways have trees planted along with a seating desk. Tons of seating space in fact. Clean loos, a cyber cafe, some great snack counters, Crossword bookstore, Cafe Coffee Day, Stop and Go (a mini Shoppers Stop), really swanky lounges - it's great to see a transformation from a filthy airport to a wow experience!

Essentially it's not just a great looking place only, but also a completely new, richer experience for everyone.

Peace on arrival

What's more, you'll be in for a pleasant surprise on arrival in Mumbai - no more getting 'taken for a ride' by the cabs and rickshaw drivers with excess fare demands. Every person who gets into a cab or rick is now given a handy leaflet which has both rate cards printed! This my dear readers, is what great user experience is all about. Understanding what users need, want and expect - and soliciting a wow! reaction. Naturally, I can't wait to fly next!

September 06, 2007

Catching up with Bangalore

Back in Bangalore for a week while returning back from Kerala where I'd gone for a friend's wedding... realized I have a lot of catching up to do with this ever changing city! Detailed notes later, but here's some quick points...

  • The Metro project is actually underway, and MG Road looks ready for a major facelift.
  • Lotsa new restaurants and clubs. Checked out Soul Cafe, Mast Kalandar and Foodworld Gourmet so far, besides regular faves Coffee World, Konark, Sunny's (where I decided to try something new this time... mahi mahi and sauteed chicken in brandy. Both yum. Pradipta tells me the mahi mahi was a little overcooked, especially since there was wasabi by the side).
  • Muthu's is gone. So is Spiga's :( Chowringee Lane has moved to Banerghatta Rd :(
  • Day one yesterday was disastrous for a photo session - was drenched in rain while at Lalbagh, which looks fresh as ever but the flowers were mostly semi-dead.
  • Checked out Printo's for on-demand printing. Fairly good service.
  • Anita's photo exhibition, 'Wide Angle' was awesome. They were doing a fundraiser for AIDS affected kids. Hats off to the beautiful photos, the photographers and the cause!