2015 Survey results

Several weeks ago I asked you to complete a brief survey. The primary question was:

“What’s the biggest challenge you face using technology effectively?”

As always, I was overwhelmed by your response. Thank you for participating.

I want to share with you some of what I learned.

Read more2015 Survey results

Why do things that aren’t broken keep changing?

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You may know that Google in their wisdom have changed their Google mail to a new format. To some, it may be great, but to us “old fogies,” we are pissed off BIG TIME!! Why must Google change something that is NOT broke? Why also don’t they give those of us who want to remain on the old format the option to do just that? Do you know why they may have changed? Do you also possibly know if there is a way I can revert back to their “old” format?? Your help would be GREATLY appreciated.

I’m afraid you’re not going to like my answer.

When this post originally appeared, Google had just changed the layout of the Gmail interface. As it turns out, I actually get this question periodically about almost every major online service. Google, Hotmail, Yahoo! and others all go through periodic major updates, and some set of existing users get quite upset. At the time I’m making this last update to the post, it’s MSN.com that’s going through a fairly major facelift.

Just about any site online or even software that we use goes through periodic changes. When they take on a major update, it’s going to upset some of its user base. It’s a cost of doing business.

And that, really, is what it all comes down to: services and software you use are, first and foremost, businesses in a highly competitive environment.

Read moreWhy do things that aren’t broken keep changing?

You Speak, I Listen

I started with posing to you a simple question:

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What’s the single biggest challenge you face using your computer effectively?

My goal was to find out today’s burning issues, and with that information fine tune where I spend my time and energy.

You did not disappoint. I was overwhelmed with the number of responses, for which I am truly grateful. Of course that contributed just a little to it taking longer than I’d expected to process the results.

I want to share with you what I’ve learned, some of the tweaking that has already happened as a result, as well as some thoughts for the future.

Read moreYou Speak, I Listen

500 and change

This week marks the publication of issue #500 (Five Hundred!) of The Ask Leo Newsletter.

I’m taking the occurrence of this fairly random round number as an opportunity to make a few tweaks to the newsletter and what I do here at Ask Leo!.

Things are a’hoppin here at Ask Leo! world headquarters, that I can tell you.

Read more500 and change

Do we really need to “get used” to things?

I responded to a question a couple of days ago regarding Windows 8 that ended with “Why did Microsoft do this, when everybody wanted the familiar old XP style?”.

My response included a pointer to my “Why ask why?” article, as well as pointing out that, no, “everybody” didn’t want the familiar old XP style. In fact many people have come to actually prefer the Windows 8 interface once they’d gotten used to it.

The response? “The User should never have to get used to it.”

That got me to thinking. In an ideal world that’s absolutely correct.

But we’re far from living in an ideal world, and that means that’s nowhere near practical.

Read moreDo we really need to “get used” to things?

Don’t Call Yourself Stupid

As you might expect, I hear a lot of questions from many different people. I also hear a lot of different comments, complaints, excuses, and justifications.

I also hear a lot of frustration and often helplessness.

It’s understandable. Computers and technology can be frustrating at times and leave you feeling quite helpless. Heck, that’s why Ask Leo! exists.

And while many of the different comments, opinions, reactions, and complaints can occasionally leave me feeling frustrated, there’s one that really, really bugs me.

Read moreDon’t Call Yourself Stupid

Embracing the Most Important Attitude

A couple of major online applications recently released user interface changes. Some of the changes are major and some are minor, but the bottom line is that the familiar software interface changed.

I don’t have to tell you what applications they are. Whenever you read this article, such change will be happening.

I get frustrated when this type of change happens…

…but not for the reasons you might think.

Read moreEmbracing the Most Important Attitude