Computers are still so hard to understand...

Dave Winer wrote a bit recently called "What we don't understand" that lists all the ways in which computers are still so confusing, not only to our elders but also to many others who's brains are not just wired that way.

I (we) am not talking about when your computer breaks, fails to print, hangs or crashes. That's a different problem, also pretty unacceptable.

It's just all the simple simple things. I agree with all his examples. Here's one: how do you add a contact to the Address Book application on Mac? Oh click that tiny "+" icon. Oh not that tiny plus icon. This one over here. Or, how do you explain  why I double click on this icon but single click on that one? And the perennial one: try to explain to anyone how to adjust margins in your favorite editor/wordprocessor.

So I won't rehash Mr. Winer's argument.

But let me ask this: it seems to me that there's a real (and large) market for a device that does email, text editing (which is part of email) and web surfing. Specifically designed for people over say 60 or anyone who could care less how to tweak all the dials.

Maybe one or two more things beyond email and text editing. But that's all. And that never ever crashes. And that has fonts and colors that are big enough for someone over 30 to read. Why doesn't this exist? There's got to be a very large market of people with money who would be willing to pay for it.

And by the way:
  • No, it's not an iPad (it has no keyboard and is way too precious).
  • It's not an iPhone: Forget about multi touch for this audience
  • No, it's not a Mac (see above.)
  • No its not Windows 7 (OMG)
It doesn't exist. Yet.

Posted on February 22, 2010 and filed under Life.