Neither Standards, Nor Usability – It is Vastu Shastra!

This was quite amusing for me. One, Dr. Smita Narang, uses Vastu Shastra (Indian counterpart of Feng Shui) to design websites. She applies the basic fundamentals of balance among the five core elements to design the website and apparently has got some success. The wonder here is she does not talk at all about the standards or usability or design techniques. The choice of colours and fonts are based on vastu shastra or astrology or numerology. Only if Tim Berners-Lee knew about what he was about to create when he conceptualized WWW.

Vastu Shastra is a technique used to create harmony between man and the environment by using energy flows. It is something that I do not believe in, but do not know enough to argue against it. However this really seems to be a mockery when the five core nature elements are being mapped to elements of a website.

“Earth is the layout, fire is the colour, air is the HTML, space is name of the web site, and water is the font and graphics,” says Narang, adding that each must be chosen carefully and strike a balance with the other.

The only convincing thing here is that they should be chosen carefully. What makes earth the layout, fire the colour and so on! How are the real world natural elements being mapped on to the virtual ones? There is no mention of the resolution or readability or performance of the web site.

The most surprising thing is that Narang’s technique is focused on the web site owner than the web site user. It is often true that one-size-fits-all does not work. Which is why we have to create different personas, different scenarios and different use cases to be able to prepare for all. There does not seem to be anything that addresses these things.

Narang has gone ahead and evaluated Slashdot and given it an overall thumbs down.

I wonder if Narang’s technique is limited to visual design or is applicable even to system designs or database designs. Some days later we will have similar governing rules for creating different IDs. I wonder what the programmers and databases would have to go through to create vastu shastra IDs for every entity!

Discussion [Participate or Link]

  1. Patrix said:

    The wonder here is she does not talk at all about the standards or usability or design techniques.

    The reason that she doesn’t do that may be that she doesn’t know that such things exist. If she is blindly applying vastu shastra principles for websites as it seems, then it is the most ridiculous thing I have heard. Vastu Shastra at least has some climatological underpinnings (only for India) although it has been exploited and made irrelevant by ill-educated profiteers who prey on people’s superstitious beliefs.

    Excuse me for link-whoring but I have written on this couple of months back citing my personal examples and beliefs. Frankly, Smita Narang’s claims are ridiculous both on web design principles and on vastu shastra principles. She is just making a quick buck cashing on the the IT wave.

  2. Abhijit Nadgouda said:

    Nice article there Patrix. Even if I do not believe in Vastu Shastra, I do consider it as a science. But this attempt to use it for website design is a mockery. I would have pursued Web Vastu more if the Slashdot evaluation had some bases/reasoning to them, not just statements.

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Abhijit Nadgouda
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