Monday, June 30, 2014

Technological Age Appropiate Software

Modern communication has evolved exponentially in the last few years.  The  new technology does incredible things and dramatically changed behaviors.  It is rare to see a young person today walking down the street without a "smartphone" held in an outstretched arm.

When people of my era got a "new toy", we may have read the directions.  My children say, "play with it and figure it out".  This is not an easy solution to people who think, "if I press the wrong button, I will destroy the software and or hardware".

Software and hardware developers should remember that they should provide a product that is appropriate to the technological level of the user.

My smartphone has a multitude of tasks that it can accomplish, but I will never even look at or explore by myself.  The manufacturers should remember to develop a tiered approach to their products.

Certain companies have accomplished this.  Dragon voice activated technology can be used by the most and least sophisticated user.  When utilizing Dragon in an electronic health(care) record, you can use all the widgets or just dictate correcting mistakes with the mouse and or keyboard.  Just using the old-fashioned non-video games technique only costs a few more seconds without fat-finger syndrome!

When creating a software product or website, do not assume that everybody understands programming convention or standards.  Provide simple guides and avoid the right-click solution.  Most people over 50 do not know what a right click is.

At my age, I would welcome the dreaded chip in the brain, so I could keep up.  Until that becomes a reality, realize that the only people that can afford most of these toys are chronologically old, but technologically young.

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