Friday, 21 September 2007

Black & White Computing

I've always thought computers were black and white. No shades of grey at all.

I don't really mean colours; I mean in how easy they are to use. You either know how to do something - in which case it's easy... or you don't - in which case it's almost always impossible. To use the Help facility of most software packages, you have to know the correct keywords to search for. Very few software packages allow you to ask "How do I...?"

The problem with asking for help from a co-worker is that even if they know, they are more likely to take over your mouse and keyboard, undertaking a series of actions in zero seconds flat whilst saying impatiently "You just do this...".

Even those people designated as "computer angels" or "IT Friends" or "Helpdesk" have an annoying tendency to say in response to a question "Oh, it's easy that..." Yes it is. To them...

So if anyone asks you to show them how to do something, please bear in mind they are already frustrated. You don't need to do that for them!

Take your time, one keyboard or mouse action at a time, preferably explaining what each does and giving enough time for them to write it down, so they will be able to do it again next time without having to ask someone else. (Because they won't ask you again will they - waste of time...!)

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