Monday, December 12, 2011

The user is more like me

In usability and interaction examples, I remember being taught the extremes such as my mother and grandparents being used as candidates for testing. I was taught to always tell myself, "the user is not like me", meaning I can never understand something from someone else's perspective until I observe or ask it. Regardless, these groups of extremes are either dying or getting used to computing interfaces.

My grandparents are mostly gone, or have no real interest in computing interfaces. I showed my grandpa my iPad once and he liked it because he could play hearts and various other card games. He got it, but his figures were really big even for the iPad.

My mom uses facebook via her computer and a mobile device. She she reads emails. She still doesn't understand file management, and computer organization, but I understand that. My dad would be a good candidate, he is still off the grid.

My sister has kids, so my mom is now a grandma. My sister's oldest knows how to go online and find what she is looking for. Mostly games, YouTube videos, etc, kid stuff. She knows how to peck the keyboard to form words, but not formal learning yet for typing.

These users are certainly not like me, but the issue is that I see them becoming more like me verses the extremes I first learned about. Kids expect touch interaction with magazines and TV screens these days. My niece has been on a computer since about three, not writing software, but clicking and using. She now has a tablet. The extremes used for comparisons in interaction are reducing. The best candidates for studies and observation will be more natural at putting up with and tolerating bad design.

From the time I though up this post to wrapping it up, I see remote tribes in the rain forest on the travel channel. I guess if all the normal extremes die off, interviews can be conduced with them.

No comments:

Share on Twitter