Making computers easier to Use

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Making computers easier to Use

Postby vivian maxine on July 14th, 2015, 8:24 am 

A friend and I were discussing certain ads that we keep seeing and wondering about. In magazines like AARP magazine, there are always ads for computers and/or smart phones which are "simpler and easier to use" for the elderly. Our question: Other than making the keys larger and the screen better lit, can you really make a computer "simpler and easier to use"? Don't the basics still have to be pretty much as they are for all computers? Has anyone seen and examined one of these "simpler" machines? A phone could be simplified by having fewer capabilities, I imagine, but a computer?
Last edited by zetreque on July 14th, 2015, 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: better title for forum browsers
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Re: Making computers easier to Use

Postby Natural ChemE on July 14th, 2015, 7:13 pm 

When you set up a computer for someone who isn't good with them, you hide a lot of things and put a lot of options on auto.

Examples in Windows:
  1. Have auto-updates on.
  2. Don't show any hidden or system files.
  3. Add icons for all major programs to the desktop.
  4. Delete shortcuts to all programs that a novice computer user is unlikely to use. Pretty much leave only stuff like a web browser, their email client, a word processor, etc. But hide everything else.
  5. Keep system restore points, auto-backups, etc. on.
By contrast, power users tend to prefer having a lot of options exposed. They want to be able to make their computer do anything, even blow up, if they so desire. Casual users just want the computer to do the few basic tasks that they have it for without having to worry.
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Re: Making computers easier to use

Postby zetreque on July 14th, 2015, 7:19 pm 

The main term for it is GUI or Graphics User Interface.

Each newer version of windows would cover up more of the actual system and structure underneath it thinking that it was easier for people to use. In fact it has always made it more difficult for me. As Natural ChemE said power users that want access to these features.

While I'm sure there are studies showing that it is easier for the common laymen to use a computer, I think it harms the world because it becomes more difficult to explain to someone how to operate a computer that genuinely wants to understand it but is so used to the dummy GUI interface.

It allows people to be lazier. Aside from letting people be lazier, it increases company profits because it makes for a larger consumer base.

PS: Vivian, I took the liberty to edit your title so that more people understand the topic. I hope it still fits with your idea.
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Re: Making computers easier to Use

Postby vivian maxine on July 15th, 2015, 8:37 am 

So, what it amounts to is taking a lot of things out of the user's control - things that knowledgeable users want to have a say in like updates or even logging in to web sites? Or even - as I remember what Word used to do - insist on certain document forms with user having no choice.
Then those who just want to send and receive emails or look up an occasional bit of information would just type in what they want and say "Go". I'm remembering the technician who said "why don't you just enjoy it as it is and let us take care of the details."

So all the basics are still there, just turned into automatic. I think I get it. Yes, there would be people for whom that would work - providing they always had a helper nearby.

zetreque, thank you for adjusting the title. I do get imaginative instead of explaining what I'm doing. Sorry about that.
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Re: Making computers easier to Use

Postby vivian maxine on August 12th, 2015, 8:49 am 

Return appearance. Having almost gotten Windows 10 installed on my computer this morning - without my say-so or desire - I have another question. Would this happen to people using the more simple, easier-to-use computers?
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