Skip to main content

Frustration is preventable.

By November 29, 2010People+Technology

In my experience, almost all computer users tolerate a low level of frustration or annoyance whenever they use their systems, unless they’re sticking to the things they already know how to do.

If the computer is being used in a place of business with higher output demands, that underlying stress level will increase. If it’s in use at home making slideshows, it will be less noticable, or will only come up here and there.

Often they don’t even notice, but it will manifest in irritated outbursts, neck and shoulder tension, flying peripherals, aggressive clicking, mumbled expletives, etc.

No Mac I’ve ever worked with has enjoyed that vibe.

I think this creates a sense of “I’m not really a computer person” and contributes to people wanting to get in and get out as quickly as possible.

To some degree, people will feel it’s the norm, and that’s just how computer work is meant to go.

There are a few factors that contribute to that feeling – and I will go into more detail in future posts.

  • The constant underlying mystery of “why the heck is it doing that? What is going on now? What does that error mean?!”
  • Not knowing where you are in the file system, relative to your info. How can you know where your stuff is if you don’t know where you are?
  • Visual noise. Having clutter on the Desktop, many windows open at once, unnecessary motion or animations, even having too many columns enabled in applications.
  • Not knowing how to move and sort your information to create order in the chaos. Like having your sock drawer hanging crookedly open, socks all over the floor and bed, and not knowing how to put them away properly.
  • Sluggish operating speed and the Dreaded Beach Ball. How long does it take to open certain applications, forward a large email, or scroll in iPhoto?
  • Having only one way to do the things you need to do. What if that one way stops working without warning, and you’re on a deadline? It’s like driving on empty, hoping the needle goes a little farther beyond the red line but never really knowing.

I say all that frustration is preventable. Imagine for a moment:

  • Understanding your error messages.
  • Knowing where you are at all times in relation to everything you use.
  • Changing settings on the Mac so it’s way more visually appealing.
  • Knowing how to easily move and sort your info.
  • Keeping your system running lean and peppy all the time.
  • Having three different ways to handle any challenge you face.

Sounds fun, right? Stick around.

Leave a Reply