Computers

the word user on top of colorful triangles the word user on top of colorful triangles

 

I was going through old posts, removing some old ones since this blog is no longer used for my home care business. Rereading one got me thinking about how technology has the potential to improve our standard of living, while alienating some from that improvement at the same time.

The original post was from Dec 11, 2013. I was commenting how senior citizens often need help with routine activities, like grocery shopping. Now, we have an app for that! We can shop at home and have groceries delivered. I can see the benefit to the elderly. However, the drawback is that many seniors I know still shy away from using technology. Or, increasingly, they are using computing technology, but not very well.

I’ve been able to help several seniors use their various devices, but most of them still don’t understand the basics of getting around a smartphone or computer. What’s worse is that software updates can affect so much in the design and functionality, that even I feel like I have to relearn some of the programs I’m already using frequently.

the word user on top of colorful triangles

I’m curious as to why software and hardware developers don’t keep consistency in mind when making changes. If they did, they would see a whole new flood of buyers that are now shying away because “it’s too confusing” or  “it only worked for a little while”. The manufacturers and developers lose out on revenue and a significant portion of the population misses out on life enhancing products and services.

I see whole technology educational programs that center around “User Experience Design” and “User Interface Design” (UX/UI) with the stated objectives being to make products and services more intuitive to use and making the experience more straightforward. I’m guessing once a student starts actually working on a project for an employer that they are encouraged to just focus on what drives a consumer to buy, buy, buy, and buy now, by manipulating emotions. Because I sure wouldn’t describe a lot of technology as intuitive and straightforward.

Just some thoughts šŸ™‚


Sites visited while writing this article:

Difference between UX and UI design

Photo credit: asvensson on Visual hunt / CC BY

More and more I see computers being used in the homes of senior citizens. The most tech savvy senior I know is over 90 years of age. Her computer space looks like mission control, complete with a scanner, printer, extra-largeĀ monitor, and some other black boxes with blinking lights for high-speed internet service.

It’s wonderful! I love computing and wish more of my older family members would try them out. The internet is a great way to keep in touch with family members who live in another state, or even another country.

The most popular programs I use for keeping in touch are e-mail, social media sites like Facebook, and video chatting with Skype or Facetime.

What is your computer of choice? Desktop computer, laptop? Or, perhaps you preferĀ smaller mobile devices, such as Apple’s iPad or a netbook? What programs do you use the most?

An organization called Seniors Now provides computer training geared to Orlando seniors. Classes are held at two Orange County locations:

South Econ Community Park – Renaissance Senior Center
3800Ā S Econlockhatchee Rd
Orlando FLĀ  32829

Marks Street Senior Recreation Complex
99Ā EĀ MarksĀ ST
Orlando FL Ā 32803

The Seniors Now website can be viewed by clicking here.