I’ve written a couple of times about the problems that markets in general and the specific type of service market that computers and the Internet have created in particular create in deciding between the skills of younger and older workers.
I’ve also been effusive in my praise of the Droid ever since I started using one last November. Really I’m praising the Android operating system; I believe that between its features, distribution, and Google’s amazingly successful play getting others to market it for them that Android is the Smartphone OS. Period.
Last week I ran into something that shocked me. And I wonder if it’s an age thing or a more generalized problem that those of us who are technically inclined encounter when we work with people who aren’t.
Someone very close to me recently started using a SmartPhone. A Droid, to be specific. And while she was picking my brain to get a better feel for what her new toy can do I happened to show her the Keyring App for Android Phones.
Keyring is one of those “HOLY COW!” applications that anyone who carries around a bunch of little shopper-loyalty cards will want the moment they see it. Using Keyring, you can have digital copies of all those tags in your SmartPhone instead of carrying the physical ones your favorite stores issued. And aside from a few little glitches it’s a fantastic app.
And in trying to talk this very bright Ph.D.-candidate 54-year-old through the use of Keyring I failed several times. Or she didn’t hear what I was saying. Here’s a screen shot of Keyring:
See that little “Add Card” button in the upper right of the app? I kept talking about it. But my student didn’t see that button, because she had a different app open. And yes, I’m certain I had told her what app to open, but she saw only the first of three text messages I had sent on the subject, which I had not worded correctly.
Is it any wonder I Hate Texting?
I’m not blaming the person I was trying to teach at all. If anything I deserve a little blame because in my first text message I hadn’t been clear enough. My point is this:
Change Is Hard. Business Change is Even Harder.
Take a phone. Add Texting. And E-mail. And Internet Access. And “Apps” that do . . . well, whatever it is they happen to do. Step back and look at all the amazing power you have in your pocket.
But then ask yourself: do you really understand how to use all that stuff? Do you get how they work together? Moreover: do your clients and potential clients understand it?
Sometimes less is more. It’s like my recent tirades about the ways Facebook is failing and how badly social networking needs a Facelift.
Make changes. Understand them. Come back tomorrow for more . . .
UI design is everything, Android is created by tech guys and that’s bad for older people. It’s about creating the new UI for them, that’s simple to use and easy to understand for untrained minds. Something like BIG Launcher – Android home screen optimized for elderly people (http://biglauncher.com)