Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 14th Sep 2011 22:20 UTC
Windows This is mandatory listening and watching material for understanding the design methodology and ideas behind the Metro interface in Windows 8 (and thus, Windows Phone 7). All this sounds great in theory, and Jensen Harris, one of the minds behind Metro, is clearly passionate about it - and I love people who are passionate about their work. It's just that to me, the Metro UI doesn't seem to work very well for actual work. I want window management! I'm taking all this into account for an article on Metro in the Developer Preview. Stay tuned.
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In fact, the age of the study completely changes the point. Your point was that a lot of people are scared of computers. What you actually showed was that between 1992 - 1994 a lot of people were scared of computers. Your statement was about here and now but the data you provided was from 17 years ago. How about we use data from the 1920's to make statements about here and now ? Still think age of the study doesn't make a difference ?

I get what you are saying, but that is the latest study I could find with details - and frankly 17 years is not that long for this kind of targeted study (they don't do studies like this very often on this scale). There are lots of random percentages thrown around on the intertubes from various studies, but the one I quoted has details (it is linked from the wikipedia article).

I would add, however, that even the random "in a recent XXX study on technophobia" you might find on Google, I rarely see a number less than 30% for the US - but since I don't know the details of how the study was done it doesn't mean much to me.

Regardless, that is how statistics works... You work with the latest data you have. If you have any data that would counter mine be my guest and post it. I don't have any doubt that technophobia has gone done some, but significantly? I seriously doubt it. But be my guest and post what you find.

"...while the younger generation is much less likely to fear technology they are also much less likely to spend a great deal of time learning the details.

Either add "In my opinion" to the start of this sentence or provide a source.

Since this is a public forum, and I am writing under an alias, maybe you should assume that everything written here is opinion unless qualified otherwise. I do not feel like starting off every sentence I write with "In my opinion" - so when I write something that is NOT opinion I will say so.

Reply Parent Score: 2

laffer1 Member since:

The problem with this study is the software that was available at the time. It assumes that windows 3.1 was easy to use. Most people back then had trouble with computers and didn't have Internet access.

Users are smarter now than they were in 1994 and the software is much easier to use. I would bet that Windows 7 would score much better than Windows 3.1 on usability

My mother couldn't print a document in 1994 but now she can write a word document, post on facebook and so forth. Younger people grew up with computers and they get it.

Making them dumber in 1994 would have been a great idea. Making them dumb AFTER everyone figured out how to use a computer that wanted to is stupid.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Alfman Member since:


It's not about making them dumber per say, it's about making them usable to a broader audience. I have first hand experience at teaching (older) people multi-window interfaces, and it is a frustrating challenge. Making things simpler for them it a good thing, and I am ok with getting rid of multi-window interfaces for them. However at some point you reach a point of diminishing returns and things become less useful to everyone.

1:22 & 2:04

Real life technophobes like the those in the video above, assuming they have a desire to own a desktop at all, will need their hands held no matter what the interface designers do. Eliminating *basic* feedback and context won't help them at all. Even a cell phone provides better feedback than metro.

In any case, I honestly think metro would be *easier* to use with additional context and feedback. It would certainly be easier to follow instructions this way.

Edited 2011-09-16 20:19 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2