Spent some time today again helping an older friend of my mom out with computers.
At the age of seventy, she finally decided it was time to learn how to computer. She bought books on Windows 8 (shudder) and everything, the whole “I have no idea what I’m doing so please guide me” package. And you know what, it’s actually going pretty well. Aside from all the jargon, of course. Downloading is still an odd concept when you only barely understand how “websites” relate to “the internet”.
It’s cool though to see how she, as an entry-level-entry-level user, experiences it all. Extremely impressed with email, how quick and easy (and cheap!) it is compared to calling or sending letters back and forth. And it all happens near instantaneously, too! I was asked if there were really tubes on the ocean floors connecting continents, or if that’s actually done via satellite. She thought the tubes were just a myth. Reality is that someone was smart enough to know it was well worth the effort to put them there, it’s way faster than going by air!
Also very interesting to be able to verify that UI principles are doing their job properly. Red button with a cross in it? That closes the thing it’s attached to. Mostly everywhere, very little exceptions. Once you’re familiar with these basics, learning to use unfamiliar things becomes way easier. Except, you know, she’s using Windows 8.
Flat design can actually be really confusing for the unexperienced.