People Who Never Use a Computer

I live in a rural area. I know people who not only never owned a computer but never used one.

Try hard to pause and reflect what the experience is like teaching such people to use any digital device.

This behavior carries over to those who finally obtain a computer. To the technical user or developer who depends a lot on computers, this is a challenging thought exercise. Many technical users and developers take for granted the basic concept of using a computer. Many technical users and developers struggle to conceive of life without a computer.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, non technical users struggle to understand why technical users are tethered to a computer all day.

When developers try to accommodate the non technical user often they go to extremes and remove features that some people call advanced features. This type of usability focus usually is fine for the target non technical users but drives the technical savvy user crazy.

Designing for the technical users leaves the non technical user out in the proverbial cold. Non technical users cannot cope with a system targeting technical users.

There seems to be a never-ending tension in this design approach. The solution is simple. Focus the defaults on non technical users yet provide technical users a portal to advanced features. A simple button or tab. Non technical users seldom venture into advanced configuration territory and those who do tend to get glassy eyed and back out of the dialogs.

There should be no tension at all. Both types of users can be content.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: General

Next: Inconsistency

Previous: Firefox Broken Videos