Smart devices but confused users

On a man's wrist is a Apple Smart Watch. The face has multiple coloured dots.Systems and devices expect people to adapt to them – to work out how to use them and to use them successfully. But it should be the other way round. This is the point Edward Steinfeld discusses in The Conversation article. Whether it’s phones, smart watches, car technology and hearing aids, they all have options that aren’t always easy to activate and manage. And it isn’t just the older population that gets confused.

“In many ways, advanced technology is inherently complicated: If users want devices that can do incredible things, they need to deal with the complexity required to deliver those services. But the interfaces designers create often make it difficult to manage that complexity well, which confuses and frustrates users, and may even drive some to give up in despair of ever getting the darn things to work right… With manufacturers’ help, more seniors could enjoy the benefits of advanced technology, without the frustrations”.

The title of the article is Better design could make mobile devices easier for seniors to use. Nicely written and many will relate to his personal and professional researcher experiences.

Note: Ed Steinfeld is better known for leading the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access at Buffalo.


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