Most users aren’t stupid. They’re just not as savvy as we think. And they shouldn’t have to be.
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
This is Leo Notenboom with news, commentary and answers to some of the many questions I get at askleo.info.
A colleague recently reminded mind that a frighteningly high percentage of people don’t realize that the listings on the right hand side of a Google results page are paid advertisements. While not techie, these are folks whom we would be consider to be relatively computer literate.
This morning I sent email to a contact at an organization I do a little work for that had been sending out Microsoft Word documents with change tracking enabled. Several iterations of changes were visible to anyone who had the appropriate display setting.
Why do I mention these two examples? Because these are not stupid people I’m talking about. These are otherwise intelligent, competent people who simply aren’t as savvy about computers and software as we think they are.
And they don’t want to be.
In the case of the Word documents, there are liability issues at stake that require that they get a little more educated – but that’s the level of impact it requires for many people to realize that there’s an issue at all. There’s a vast group of people who use computers – but just barely, or just enough to get a job done. They don’t want to know more than they need, and they’re not interested in playing with their software to find out more.
The result? A vast miss use and under use of the wonderfully powerful tools people have sitting right in front of them.
If there’s anything I’ll ever start harping on here, it’s that people aren’t as savvy as we think, and they don’t want to be, and they shouldn’t have to be.
Forget all the features – we, the computer professionals, need to do a better job of making the basics work, work well, and work in obvious ways. When otherwise smart people don’t bother learning to copy and paste because retyping is easier (as I’ve seen) – we’re missing something very, very important.
Have comments? Visit ask leo dot info, and enter 9150 in the go to article number box. Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear from you.
This is a presentation of askleo.info, a free on-line technical question and answer service. Hundreds of questions and answers are online and ready to help solve your computer problems. New questions and answers are added daily.