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.
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 🙂
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