Why a Senior Computer?
Technology today has become so pervasive that most of us take it for granted. Not only do we take for granted that we can instantly connect...
...and get information, but we also take for granted how this technology works. And that's one of the driving reasons behind the idea for a senior computer.
Many seniors and computer novices have never had the opportunity to learn the computer skills which are second nature to tech-savvy users.The concepts of windows, desktops, drop down menus, right-click options, minimizing, maximizing, tasks bars, etc., are so familiar to us because we’ve been using computers with these features for so long. We never stop to think how confusing it may be for someone who’s never used a traditional computer before.
For many seniors learning computers, they describe feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and lost:
“Where am I?”
“Where did the screen go?”
“Where did I save it?”
“How did I get here and how do I go back?”
Some of the biggest interface design barriers that complicate navigation for senior computer users are:
1) Disappearing desktops
2) Drop down menus
3) Overlapping windows
4) Missing or disappearing buttons
To simply assume that everyone can, and should, just learn to deal with these navigational intricacies in order to use the computer is limiting and also self-centered. Just because I want to be able to have eight different programs running, twelve internet tabs opened, and music playing on my computer, doesn’t mean that everyone else wants or needs to do all these things at once.
Example of why a Senior Computer should be different
This “less is more” take on interface design can best be exemplified by an actual conversation I had with a customer a few weeks ago. A man in his 50’s was thinking about getting a Telikin for his senior dad. He called me up, with his dad in the room, to ask me some questions, one of which was, “Can my Dad have multiple internet browser windows opened?” After I explained how our structured interface allows for one web browser screen open at a time, the man replied, “Well, my dad just said to me ‘Why would I want more than one internet screen anyway?’”
Computers for new users and seniors don’t have to be complex. Telikin was created, designed, and built for a different kind of user, one who wants an easier computer experience! It simplifies those aspects of computer navigation that are often frustrating and confusing for novices, while it retains the desired functionality of a conventional computer. Technology should make tasks like staying in touch easier, and more fun; and everyone, including seniors, should have a computer that they enjoy using.
Read more about getting a tech-novice senior started with computers in this article, iPad for Seniors.