Many Pies

Many Pies

Friday, September 22, 2006

How your users view a PC

This article is inspired by the Creating Passionate Users blog which I recommend if you support or develop software for people.

How you view your PC


How your users view a PC


To you its a fine collection of useful things to accomplish what you want. You have your favourite text editor, a couple of image editors, your IM tools, Skype, your browser, your useful browser plugins and so on.

You musn't forget what your users think of it though. They want to get their work done, but they have to use a PC to do it, and they don't like it. They haven't a clue what its really doing, they don't know why you have to single click in some places and double click in others, they don't really understand the difference between the pictures at the bottom left without writing and those at the bottom in the centre with writing (and those at the bottom on the right without writing too, oh and those in the middle with writing). You probably knew that though, but how can you help?

One good way would be to try a drive a steam train.
It looks a bit like the picture above of how your users view a PC, but try to imagine you had to drive a train with 5 minutes instruction, using all the levers and dials on a train. You would be scared that you might blow something up, after all there's a lot of pressure in that tank. It is scary. That's how the users feel. If they click the wrong button it's going to lose their work, or they are going to break something and then IT will be cross with them. So have patience, go easy on them - they're scared.

Photo credits:
http://flickr.com/photos/oxborrow/
http://flickr.com/photos/geishaboy500/
http://flickr.com/photos/bstrong


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